Slideshow: Hats Off to Jayco’s Wilbur Bontrager

December 17, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

(L-R) Derald, Bertha and Wilbur Bontrager A stream of well wishers — employees, friends and family — gathered Friday afternoon (Dec. 14) at the corporate offices of Jayco Inc. in Middlebury, Ind., to congratulate Chairman Wilbur Bontrager upon his recently announced year-end retirement. “This has been an awesome event with a lot of friends and just a lot of fun,” said Bontrager, a 47-year employee of the motorized and towable RV manufacturer launched 50 years ago at a nearby farm... Read more

Canadian RV Industry Backs New Trade Pact

December 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Eleonore Hamm News of the initial authorization on Friday (Nov. 30) of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a new trade pact championed by U.S. President Donald Trump to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), was welcomed by the Canadian RV industry’s leadership. Lawmakers in all three countries still have to ratify the trade deal before all is said and done. Sounding their approval were RVDA of Canada President Eleonore Hamm and Canadian Recreational Vehicle... Read more

Skyline Champion Unveils Joint Display at KOA

November 19, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Skyline Champion park model kitchen Among the busy displays at last week’s 2018 KOA Convention & Expo, Nov. 12-15 at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Texas, was a precedent-setting exhibit in which Skyline Champion Corp. – a new company formed June 4 by the combination of former competitors Skyline Corp. and Champion Home Builders Inc. — showcased the firm’s park model RVs in a joint display for the first time. And as the integration proceeds for the new publicly-held manufacturer... Read more

Florida-Based RV Retailer is Acquiring RV One

October 22, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

RV Retailer President and CEO Jon Ferrando Florida-based RV Retailer LLC continues to emerge as one of the North American RV industry’s most aggressive new retail players, having announced this morning (Oct. 22) that it has signed an agreement to acquire RV One Superstores, a high-profile dealer headquartered in New York State, from RV One CEO Don Strollo. RV Retailer stated in a release that Strollo will continue to lead RV One Superstores while retaining a significant ownership stake in the business... Read more

Slideshow: ROUTE 66 Holds Biggest Rally to Date

October 11, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

ROUTE 66 dealer members gather for general session during this week’s rally The 2018 ROUTE 66 RV Network Rally, which drew about 275 attendees to the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa north of Albuquerque, N.M., was scheduled for a midday finale today (Oct. 11) during a closing general session. The dealer group’s 15th annual rally — the biggest yet for the Overland Park, Kan.-based group that now coordinates programs and varied discounts for 105 independent RV dealers with... Read more

Keystone Rolls Out Revised Outbacks, Hideouts

September 24, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

New kitchen area in Keystone Hideout Goshen, Ind.-based Keystone RV Co. will be showcasing complete upgrades of its affordable Hideout and more upscale Outback travel trailers at this week’s (Sept. 24-28) annual Elkhart RV Open House. “We spent some time over the last year asking dealers and retail customers what is Outback to them,” reported Eric Landis, product manager for Outback, a twin-axle lineup available in both the Full Profile and Ultra Lite series. “And really what it comes down... Read more

Travel Lite Unveils Evoke Line at ‘Kick Off’ Party

September 24, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Travel Lite RV President Dustin Johns (left) unveils the company’s first full-sized travel trailer (Photo by J. Tyler Klassen) A crowd of dealers, vendors and business associates gathered last night (Sept. 23) near the northern Indiana lakeside home of Travel Lite RV President Dustin Johns for a catered prime rib dinner and a sneak preview of the company’s new Evoke travel trailer line. The 33-foot, metal-sided Evoke unveiled at the private “kick off party” for today’s Elkhart RV Open House... Read more

RV Industry Plays Key Role in Bashor Fundraiser

September 7, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The Lerner Center’s Crystal Ballroom again hosted Running With Spoons A host of RV industry manufacturers and suppliers played a key role Thursday evening (Sept. 6) in helping to raise an impressive sum of $440,000 — up from $310,000 last year — for the 3rd Annual “Running with Spoons” celebrity chef competition benefiting Bashor Children’s Home in Goshen, Ind. As in past years, the fundraiser was held at the Lerner Theatre in downtown Elkhart, Ind. (To view a slideshow... Read more

RV Builders Anticipate Robust RV Open House

August 21, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Dealers enjoy dinner at last year’s Open House The 2018 Elkhart RV Open House, a trade show first conceived 10 years ago by Forest River Inc. for dealers at its Elkhart, Ind., headquarters, should take an appreciable step forward this year as the recreational vehicle industry’s preeminent selling show. That seems to be the general consensus among manufacturers consulted by, assuming the weather, the economy and the burgeoning RV marketplace continue to trend favorably for North... Read more

RVIA Takes Its ‘RVX’ Road Show to HOF in Elkhart

August 9, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Liz Crawford, senior vice president, trade shows and events, for RVIA offers insight on RVX to exhibitors in HOF meeting The RV Industry Association (RVIA) hosted its second “RVX Exhibitor Academy” Wednesday morning (August 8) at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., during which the Reston, Va.-based trade association’s staff addressed the merits of RVIA’s new spring show — “RVX: The RV Experience” – to a crowd of about 50 potential manufacturer and supplier exhibitors. The... Read more

Acquisitive New Player Enters RV Retail Arena

July 13, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

RVR President & CEO Jon Ferrando RV Retailer LLC (RVR), the recent buyer of high volume Texas RV dealer Motor Home Specialist, is an acquisitive new player in the highly competitive U.S. RV dealer arena. Established in January by several former AutoNation Inc. executives, RVR’s management team is intent on rolling up an appreciable percentage of U.S. RV retail market share. Indeed, RVR’s game plan is to acquire retailers with some of the same essential attributes as 145-employee Motor Home... Read more

RVIA’s Wald Reviews New Tech Training Institute

June 18, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Matt Wald, vice president of strategic initiatives for the RV Industry Association (RVIA), has led the charge from a staff perspective in developing the industry’s new “RV Technical Institute.” As such, he’s had a bird’s eye view of the proposed new Elkhart, Ind.-based educational program that was formally approved June 7 by RVIA’s board of directors with the support of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) during 2018 RVIA Committee Week at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington,... Read more

Airstream Touts Growth, Dealer Partners in Vegas

May 25, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Airtream meeting attendees enjoy a reception Airstream Inc.’s 2018 National Dealer Meeting, held Tuesday through Thursday (May 22-24) at the Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Hotel Resort, was in many ways a traditional event in both substance and style as the Thor Industries Inc. division’s management and dealers gathered for an array of presentations plus private meetings, receptions, product displays, a golf outing and tours of Hoover Dam and the Airstream Las Vegas dealership.... Read more

Tiffin Club Draws 310 Coaches to Elkhart County

May 16, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Tiffin Allegro Club rally attendees fill a large building at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds Approximately 650 members of the Tiffin Allegro Club have gathered this week at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind., as the event, one of the motorized owners club’s three annual regional rallies, drew around 310 gas and diesel Class A and C motorhomes. (To view a slideshow scroll to the right side of the home page. Photos by J. Tyler Klaussen). And judging by the scene last... Read more

New CWHI Supercenters Mix RV, Outdoor, Marine

May 7, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

In a move that should greatly diversify and expand Camping World Holdings Inc.’s (CWHI) brand within the outdoor recreation and marine markets, Chicago-based CWHI will be integrating many of its newest Camping World stores with the Gander Outdoors and Overton’s marine retail outlets it acquired in 2017, according to CWHI Chairman Marcus Lemonis. While he had hinted previously about a combined brand strategy that would integrate the outdoor, marine and RV markets for the first time — fueling... Read more

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