Bickel a Catalyst in Growing Conversion Market

January 30, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Donald “Skip” Bickel, a 30-year marketing veteran of the van/truck conversion industry, passed away Jan. 26 following a year-long battle with cancer. Bickel, 60, was instrumental in the successful startup of Advantage Corp., Goshen, Ind., and the restructuring of Alabama-based Kustom Kreations. He also owned Biarritz Motor Coach, Goshen, and Cruiser’s Auto/Truck Outfitters, Naples, Fla. Bickel is survived by his wife, Jane (Weldy), and daughter, Jessica Dallas of St. Augustine, Fla. Also surviving... Read more

Journalist, Go RVing Teaming up for Super Bowl

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Sports journalist Kerry Byrne touts RVing on FOX & Friends Football journalist Kerry Byrne and Go RVing have teamed up for a 1,500-mile RV road trip to the Super Bowl, designed to generate media interest from Boston to New Orleans. According to a press release, Byrne and celebrity chef Steve DiFillippo are traveling in a motorhome provided by El Monte RV to promote RVs as a fun and flexible way to travel, tailgate and experience the big game. The tour included an appearance on the FOX & Friends... Read more

Grand Design Delivers 1st Solitude to Dandy RV

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Solitude fifth-wheel by Grand Design After a solid Florida RV SuperShow, startup manufacturer Grand Design Recreational Vehicles has shipped its first unit — the extended-stay 38-foot Solitude fifth-wheel — to Dandy RV Superstores in Anniston, Ala. Grand Design, founded in October by industry veterans Don Clark and brothers Ron and Bill Fenech, made its retail debut at the Tampa show in a Lazydays RV Center booth earlier this month at a prominent display that drew a steady stream of consumers... Read more

TMC Reports New Products Driving Retail Sales

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With the early retail RV shows now in the rearview mirror, Thor Motor Coach reports the company is continuing to see an influx of new buyers for its products. “The 2013 RV shows have been great, getting this year started on the right note,” said Joel Grimm, national sales manager for gas motorhome sales. “Our dealers have achieved excellent sales at our retail shows this year. Consumers are seeking out our products as a result of our great dealer base, introduction of new model... Read more

NTP Projecting Record Numbers for Trade Show

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Wilsonville, Ore.-based NTP Distribution announced Atwood Mobile Products LLC as the title sponsor of its annual trade show and conference, which the company is projecting to be its largest event to date. According to a press release, the upcoming NTP show is set to run Feb. 12-15 in San Diego. “Atwood has been a partner with NTP for over 30 years and we’re proud to have them as the title sponsor of our annual trade show,” said Greg Boyd, president of NTP. “This year, we are seeing... Read more

ELS Plans to Expand ‘RV Footprint’ During 2013

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Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS), the nation’s largest operator of RV parks and manufactured housing communities, is seeking to expand its RV footprint this year. During a conference call to investors on Tuesday (Jan. 29), ELS President Marguerite Nader said the company’s RV footprint “appeals to both the Baby Boomers who are just considering retirement and those who are well under way into retirement.” She said ELS, which serves RVers through its Encore and Thousand Trails resorts,... Read more

Brown & Brown Insurance Growing RV Portfolio

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Providing RV insurance to consumers and dealers has always been a specialized niche in the insurance business. But Brown & Brown Inc. of Columbia, Ky., is determined to position itself as a one of the nation’s leading providers of specialized insurance coverage for consumers and RV dealers through its Reed Brothers subsidiary. And it greatly enhanced its ability to serve the RV marketplace in December in acquiring Orlando, Fla.-based Gilbert RV Insurance, Inc. and RV America Insurance... Read more

Daimler Announces Cuts for Freightliner Plants

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Officials at Oregon-based Daimler Trucks North America said Tuesday (Jan. 29) they are planning significant layoffs at their plants in the United States and Mexico — layoffs that apparently include the company’s three Freightliner plants in the Charlotte, N.C., area. The Charlotte Observer reported that the company made the announcement as part of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which requires companies to provide advance notice when 500 or more jobs will be... Read more

‘Undercover Boss’ Gives a Boost to KOA Brand

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The recent appearance by Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) CEO Jim Roger on “Undercover Boss” garnered unprecedented attention for the KOA brand, its campgrounds and KOA owners and staffs, according to a news release. KOA was featured in the Jan. 11 episode of the award-winning “Undercover Boss” show, now in its fourth season on CBS. “We were absolutely blown away from the reaction across North America,” said Rogers, who took on the persona of Tim Bickford, a mild-mannered,... Read more

New Guidelines Set on RV/MH Hall Nominations

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At a recent board meeting, the RV/MH Heritage Foundation approved a major change in its bylaws that streamlines the procedure and criteria for nominations to the Hall of Fame. “The Hall’s Selection Committee worked tirelessly for more than six months reviewing the previous bylaws and procedures and then crafting these important new bylaws and guidelines,” said Hall President Darryl Searer in a press release. Guidelines for Nominations • Who can nominate a person to the Hall... Read more

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