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GMC Enthusiasts Gather in Ala. for Convention

April 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

When Bob Hughson and Don Fenwich first spotted their GMC Motorhome in a junkyard in Florida in 2010, they knew they had something special on their hands, even if it didn’t quite look like it at the time. “It had vines growing through it,” Hughson said. Fenwich said, “It was the ugliest thing I had ever seen.” According to a report by the Dothan (Ala.) Eagle, it took months of renovations, but when the work was finished, the custom 34-foot 1975 GMC Motorhome, nicknamed “The Beast” by... Read more

Product Innovation Revs Up RV Industry In ’15

April 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Last September’s Open House was packed as OEMs showcased product innovation The RV industry continued to compile fresh benchmarks in 2015, accelerating to its sixth straight year of incremental shipment growth while registering marked retail improvement in key sectors that effectively buried any lingering traces of the recession. “In terms of U.S. retail sales, 2015 outpaced the Hurricane Katrina years in 2005 and 2006, which had been the high marks since 2003,” said Scott Stropkai, national... Read more

Xantrex Intros ‘Freedom Xi’ Sine Wave Inverters

March 31, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Xantrex has introduced the Freedom Xi, a new generation of advanced true sine wave inverters specifically engineered for use in all types of mobile applications. According to a press release, the Freedom Xi marks the evolution of Xantrex’s best-selling XM and HF products which have been installed in more than 300,000 RVs, trucks and boats in the past few years. The Freedom Xi offers many new features including clean AC power, smart battery management and quick connection terminals in a lightweight... Read more

FMCA Reunion Sees Strong Attendance in Perry

March 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Buoyed by a strong number of “on-site registrations,” the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) welcomed 2,601 rigs, including 415 commercial coaches, to the expansive Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry last week as the organization hosted its 93rd Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase. Organizers for the March 11-17 event confirmed that the coach count exceeded last year’s “summer” reunion show held at the Allegiant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. “We were up by a... Read more

FMCA Readies For Strong Turnout In Georgia

March 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Gathering in familiar surroundings at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is preparing for a strong turnout and a tightly packed agenda during its 93rd Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase. This year’s event, which gets underway Thursday (March 11) and runs through Sunday, returns to the sprawling venue for its ninth year, dating back to March 1996.    “The facility is perfect for us in terms of offering plenty of space for... Read more

Winter Shows: Industry’s Still in a Growth Mode

February 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

RVers packed the vendor booths at the Tampa Show (Photo by Shawn Spence) As gas prices barrel down below $2 a gallon, RVers have come out in force during the early round of winter shows that generally set a barometer for the coming year in terms of trends in the industry and potential sales. And, despite the backdrop of a gyrating stock market, RV dealers and show organizers are reporting that out of the gate 2016 is seizing on last year’s momentum, which delivered post-recession highs for the... Read more

NATM Annual Convention Draws 900 to Vegas

February 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Reflecting the overall strength of the industry, this week’s National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) 28th Annual Convention and Trade Show is attracting a strong member turnout with over 900 attendees converging on the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas. The event officially opened today (Feb. 10) and runs through Friday. “Our attendance is up from last year, which was our best year since 2007-2008, right before the bottom fell out of the economy,” said Allison... Read more

IMHA/RVIC’s Fort Wayne Show Breaks Records

February 2, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

RVs pack the floor at the Fort Wayne RV show Representatives for the 56th Annual Fort Wayne RV & Camping Show are reporting a 38% jump in overall attendance, marking an all-time high for the Jan. 28-31 event in Northeastern Indiana. Sponsored by the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association/Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (IMHA/RVIC), the show drew 12,363 to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, topping last year’s total by 3,401 and eclipsing the previous high in 1999 which saw 10,442... Read more

Coachmen Engineer Leading Parkinson’s ‘Fight’

February 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Don Sheliga A diagnosis of Parkinson’s interrupted Don Sheliga’s life around three years ago. While working as an engineer for Coachmen RV, Sheliga coped, embracing the series of therapies, treatments and recommended exercise that would help retard – but, at this point, not cure – the progressive symptoms associated with the disease. The most potent medicine, however, came from those closest to him. “With the strong support of my wonderful family and friends, I have been learning to deal... Read more

Camping World Acquiring ‘Lightning RV Supply’

January 22, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

In the wake of Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Camping World Inc.’s announced expansion in the wholesale aftermarket sector, the nation’s largest RV retail chain has acquired southern regional distributor Lightning RV Supply to significantly bolster its inventory of replacement parts distributed through its National RV Supply division. John Sirpilla, chief business development officer for Camping World, stressed that Thonotosassa, Fla.-based Lightning RV Supply, led by President Brad Green, would continue... Read more

Giant Recreation World Readies for ‘Next Level’

January 12, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

Giant Recreation World management along with Palm Bay city officials break ground on the new site The blueprint for expansion, devised years ago by the principals at Florida-based Giant Recreation World, centered on a well-worn axiom in the real estate community. Location topped the search list as the company looked to increase its footprint, and ultimately sales volume, by being more visibile to consumers. “For around 10 years, our vision has been to find property that was affordable and offered... Read more

Pearson Foundation Funds Medicine Drop Boxes

December 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Earlier this year, the Justin Pearson Foundation, a foundation established by St. Cloud, Minn.-based PleasureLand RV owner Dan Pearson after the overdose death of his son, hosted a golf tournament to raise funds to provide medication disposal boxes for every police agency in the tri-county area that requested one. Minnesota’s Stearns and Benton Counties now have medication disposal boxes in the following law enforcement agencies: Albany, Avon, Cold Spring, Kimball, Melrose, Paynesville, Sartell,... Read more

Thor Launches Gemini RUV on Transit Platform

November 25, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

The Gemini is the newest member of the Recreational Utility Vehicle (RUV) lineup from Thor Motor Coach. As the first Ford Transit-equipped motorhome in North America, the Gemini gives Baby Boomers and Gen Xers an alternative to frustrating airline and hotel vacations, the company said in a press release. This Gemini is fuel-efficient and costs about as much as a high-end SUV. “The key to what makes the Gemini so appealing to new buyers coming into the motorhome market are its small proportions,”... Read more

K-Z Earns DSI Awards in All Product Categories

November 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

K.Z. Inc. was recently awarded the 2015 RVDA Quality Circle Award for every one of its product categories, the Shipshewana, Ind.-based builder reported in a press release. The announcement was made by Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) President Phil Ingrassia at the close of this year’s National Dealer Convention in Las Vegas. Official recognition will take place at an RVDA dealer’s reception on Nov. 30 kicking off the Dec. 1-3 National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky. “I am excited... Read more

Sheldon Retires; Made Mark on Industry’s Future

November 12, 2015 by · 11 Comments 

Jim Sheldon with his wife, Toni, at RVIA Committee Week in 2011 Jim Sheldon admits being openly skeptical when friend and colleague Elden Smith said he was going to take a job with a “trailer factory.” “We were both working sales in the aerospace industry, and were making a pretty great living,” said Sheldon, a longtime executive with Monaco Coach Corp. and a prominent figure in industry affairs through a variety of roles with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). “Elden took... Read more

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