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GAC’s ‘Going RV’ Set to Premiere Wednesday

May 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Great American Country (GAC) cable channel Wednesday (May 4) will debut the second season of ”Going RV,” an RIVR Media production that depicts a variety of RV consumers making a choice about which of three RVs they will purchase. The 22-episode series will air two half-hour segments back-to-back Wednesday and on May 11 and then at 9 p.m. (EDT) each Wednesday through September. Consumers being led through the purchase process at an RV dealership include a former professional football... Read more

Fretz RV Adapts, Grows during 70-Year History

April 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Steve Fretz Steve Fretz, president of third-generation, family-owned Fretz Enterprises Inc. – dba Fretz RV in the Philadelphia suburb of Souderton, Pa. – says adaptability is one of the keys to the company’s success over the last 70 years. Started by his grandfather, Wilmer Fretz, in 1946 as a hardware store and tack shop for horses, the company transitioned into RVs in 1967 under the leadership of Steve’s semiretired father, Carl Fretz. Today, Fretz RV is a full-line dealership that... Read more

Airstream Readies For ‘Nest’ Trailer Production

April 6, 2016 by · 3 Comments 

Airstream Inc. will begin production next year of the all-fiberglass Nest by Airstream travel trailer brand that it acquired March 21 from Bend, Ore.-based Nest Caravans. Production of the lightweight, diminutive trailer will be moved to Jackson Center, Ohio, where the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary produces its iconic ”silver bullet” aluminum Airstream travel trailers. It’s a big step in terms of product design for tradition-clad Airstream. ”We’ve had our eye on the... Read more

Austin RV Expo Sees Record Gate, Solid Sales

February 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The three-day Austin (Texas) RV Expo (Feb. 18-21) drew a record crowd of 8,103 RV enthusiasts to the Austin Convention Center. ”It was our highest attendance ever,” said Jennifer McKinney, director of marketing for the Austin Chapter of the Texas Recreation Vehicle Association (TRVA). The show, in it’s 10th year, displayed some 300 towable and motorized RVs in 200,000-square-feet space. Sales among the seven dealers showing at the expo went well, McKinney told RVBUSINESS.com. ”It... Read more

Bretz RV Continues Growth with Billings Store

February 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Aerial shot of Bretz RV dealership in Billings Hard on the heels of a 15,000-square-foot showroom addition at its Missoula, Mont., flagship store, Bretz RV and Marine expects to move in early spring into a new 35,000-square feet dealership in Billings. The Billings facility will replace a smaller shop half-a-mile down the road. ”We will be carrying everything,” said owner Mark Bretz, whose parents, Frank and Viola Bretz, founded the dealership in 1967. ”We are big on Keystone,... Read more

Iowa Truck Camper Maker Targeting U.S. Market

February 2, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Exterior of the BunduCamp 260 BundutecUSA Inc., a small Raymond, Iowa, company that found moderate success building truck campers for export to Australia, is turning its attention to the U.S. RV market after the foreign exchange rate became unfavorable. ”I’m just developing the market for the U.S.,” said Rory Willett, BundutecUSA president. ”Last year, I built 35 campers for Australia. The Aussie dollar dropped so much last year it made my product too expensive.” Currently... Read more

Dutchmen Ahead of Schedule on Syracuse Plant

January 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Goshen, Ind.-based Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. is ahead of its production schedule at the 183,000-square-foot factory it opened in November on the north side of Syracuse, Ind., to build and conventional and ultralight travel trailers. ”It’s coming up to speed very quickly,” said Troy James, vice president of sales for the towable RV-manufacturing unit of Thor Industries Inc., now part of Thor’s Keystone RV Co. Inc. subsidiary. ”We are ahead of the plan that we put together... Read more

Custom Truck Camper Builder Capri will Expand

December 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Custom-built Retreat short-bed camper by Capri Capri Campers LLC, a small entry-level Texas truck camper manufacturer, is looking to expand into Idaho or Montana in 2016 to broaden its market. ”That is our plan right now, unless something changes,” said Pete D’Acosta, who purchased the 46-year-old company in Bluff Dale, Texas, in February 2014. ”The entry-level camper market has become a more competitive space than it has been for many years in the past.” Marketed as... Read more

N.Z. Firm Pitches Unique Design to OEMs in U.S.

December 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A New Zealand company is in talks with up to half a dozen North American RV manufacturers to build what can only be called a unique travel trailer as the entire living compartment swings open like a flash drive. (To view a video of the Romotow Ltd. trailer scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page). Romotow Ltd. showed a scale model of the travel trailer earlier this month at the Louisville Show and expects to display a full-size prototype at the event next year. Initial production... Read more

Minn. Firm Taps Growing Market for Ice Houses

November 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Glacier ice house The popularity of ice fishing in Northern Minnesota has prompted Bimiji-based Glacier Ice House LLC to introduce a Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA)-certified travel trailer line that can be used as shelter for fishing on a lake or as a camping cabin on land. The wood-and-aluminum Glacier ice house, available in five 12- to 22-foot floorplans, is equipped with a hydraulic system that lowers the unit 15 inches to sit on a frozen lake or solid ground. Between five and... Read more

Record Crowd Expected for Caravan Salon Show

August 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Last year’s Caravan Salon drew record attendance Billed as the world’s largest RV show and coming off record crowds last year, Caravan Salon Düsseldorf kicks off a nine-day run for the general public Saturday (Aug. 29) at the Dusseldorf (Germany) Fairgrounds (Messe Düsseldorf). Nearly 600 exhibitors will display some 130 brands of motorized and towable RVs throughout 2 million square feet of display space. The public portion of the show will be proceeded Friday by a one-day trade-only... Read more

RV/MH Hall’s Family Fest Draws 1,000 Attendees

August 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Family Fest Attendees check out early 1960s Shasta Airflyte at vintage car show Some 1,000 people Saturday (Aug. 22) attended the RV/MH Hall of Fame ”Family Fest” that featured the Kelly Miller Circus, vintage RV and custom car shows along with music from the band Southern Straightaway. ”The event did exactly what we wanted it to do,” said Jeff White, Hall vice president and director of operations. ”A lot of people who live in the Elkhart area haven’t been to the... Read more

OEM Model Release Prime Topic at TRVA Meeting

August 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The timing of RV manufacturers’ model release dates was a prime topic during the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association’s (TRVA) annual meeting Aug. 15-17 at the La Cantera Hill Country Resort in San Antonio. During a 2 1/2-hour dealers-only meeting, frustration was expressed – as it has been for years by recreational vehicle dealers to no avail – that models for the following year sometimes debut as early as March in the previous year. ”Dealers feel that something needs to... Read more

Walworth: Shipment Report No Cause for Alarm

June 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Tom Walworth Although overall U.S. wholesale RV shipments of 168,884 units were up 6% year-to-date through May, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) latest shipment report released Thursday (June 25) indicated that total shipments in May slipped 5.8% versus the same month in 2014. That, of course, was a wake-up call for a resurgent industry so accustomed to consecutive monthly shipment gains. But don’t jump to conclusions regarding that latest report, cautions Tom Walworth,... Read more

Hopkins Promoting Unified Standards to Chinese

June 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Bruce Hopkins Bruce Hopkins’ passport is filling up as he is shepherding several countries through the intricacies of establishing international standards compatible to those of the  Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA). As vice president of standards for the Reston, Va.-based trade organization, Hopkins has been to China eight times trying to educate the Chinese government as the country of 1.4 billion people deals with what has developed into a fledgling RV industry. ”We’ve... Read more

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