RVIA’s National RV Trade Show Rolls Out Monday

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November 28, 2017 by   Leave a Comment

RVIA President Frank Hugelmeyer addresses media Monday at Louisville Show

While the 2017 National RV Trade Show, the largest industry gathering of RV manufacturers and their component parts suppliers, didn’t officially get underway until today (Nov. 28) , a handful of events – including the first round of the Top Tech Challenge – took place Monday. (To view a slideshow scroll to the right side of the home page. Photos by Shawn Spence).

Hosted by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the show is scheduled to run through Nov. 30 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.

Speaking to gathered media and social media influencers during a sneak preview, RVIA President Frank Hugelmeyer reported that the show features 1.2 million square feet of display space occupied by manufacturers and more than 200 industry suppliers. In addition, there are 40 new exhibitors that are showing outdoor-style products in the new Outside Lifestyle Pavilion.

Also, Hugelmeyer reported more than 2,700 dealers would be attending, including 700 who would be at the show for their first time.

“Most importantly, this is all part of celebrating what is an incredibly exciting industry to be part of. Our goal is to make the show reflect the excitement and the energy that we’re all seeing every day at both the dealer levels and in our manufacturing facilities,” he said.

Besides Hugelmeyer, the media preview featured brief presentations from a handful of manufacturers and suppliers who provided an overview of new products and programs they had on display as well as any special events they would be hosting during the course of the show.

• Cody Shade, a product manager at Forest River Inc. overseeing the all-new No Boundaries towable line of travel trailers and teardrop campers, said the brand aimed at adventure-campers is designed to be affordable, towable and versatile.

“The entire product line is designed to be towed with vehicles that most of us already own,” he mentioned. As far as being affordable, Shade said that every “NOBO” – the No Boundaries’ nickname – could be “purchased by a family for less than probably what they’re paying in a family cellphone plan.”

• Noting that it was the first Louisville Show with the company’s new management team, Renee Jones, director of corporate marketing for Jayco Inc., a subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc., listed about a dozen new products from Jayco and its Entegra Coach, Highland Ridge and Starcraft RV divisions.

Among those units was the redesigned Jayco Whitehawk travel trailer, Jayco Melbourne Prestige Class C motorhome, Entegra Emblem gas-fueled Class A, Highland Ridge Highlander travel trailer, and Starcraft GPS travel trailer.

• Similarly, Sam Jefson of Winnebago Industries Inc. touted several of the manufacturer’s many product debuts, including the Revel Class B, Fuze Class C, Horizon diesel pusher, Intent gas Class A, and Winnie Plus 27RLTS fifth-wheel – plus a handful of concept units sporting bold exterior color schemes such as Ferrari Red, along with yellow and black, on a Horizon coach.

• Bob Rogers, director of marketing at Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp., highlighted the company’s 17% growth over last year’s record results, while also making note of the newly introduced Model 2465, the company’s longest travel trailer. 

“These are the good old days. I’m a fisherman so I always tend to show up to the fishing hole about a week too late. I should’ve been here last week. We’re jamming right now and we got to make hay and we love it,” Rogers said.

• Rather than discussing product, Antonio Gonzalez of Traxa Outdoors instead focused on the company’s commitment to developing products that would enable its adventure-seeking campers to better enjoy the outdoors in a more responsible, sustainable way. “Our mission and our product and our culture talks about it every day: Stewardship of the outdoors,” he said.

• After providing an overview of the company and its Combi, AquaGo and LevelCheck products, Billy Dionato of Truma delivered an invitation to attend its annual Christkindlmarkt celebration. The company’s booth is transformed into a Bavarian Christmas scene complete with an endless supply of hot Glühwein heated from a Truma AquaGo along with Lebkuchen gingerbread cookies from Germany.

• Trey Miller, director of marketing for Dometic Corp., highlighted several new products including new accessories for the PowerChannel Awning, Moderno toilet with variflush technology, Signature Suite of appliances, and the all-new 75 DZW and the CFX 100 in the CFX line of portable cooler/freezers.

• Andy Bialorucki, director of marketing for Thetford/Norcold, stressed the 50th anniversary of the Aqua-Kem holding tank treatment as well as the introductions of Tank Blaster, an enzyme-based holding tank cleaner, and the Polar Series of RV refrigerators.

“We’re also doing some things in our factory. The industry is booming and we’re preparing for more growth, so we’ve invested heavily in our manufacturing equipment to increase our production capacity,” he said, adding that Thetford/Norcold is proud to be a co-sponsor of the Top Tech Challenge.

Eight participants of the inaugural Top Tech Challenge competed in the first round of the competition. In front of a standing room-only crowd of about 200 people, the techs were tasked with four different scenarios: rebuild an in-wall slide mechanism, troubleshoot a faulty furnace, install a weight distribution system, and troubleshoot a faulty air conditioner. The winner will be crowned today after completing round two, in which the techs will have to troubleshoot a faulty water heater, 12-volt system, and refrigerator.


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