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RVDA of Canada Celebrates 30th Year at Hall Event

August 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

RVDA of Canada members view the leadership bricks outside the Hall of Fame (Photo by Tyler Klassen) The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada marked the organization’s 30th anniversary Tuesday (Aug. 23) night with a special reception, recognition ceremony and dinner at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind. (To view a slideshow scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page). Attendees included numerous past RVDA of Canada chairmen as well as the current board and... Read more

The BUZZ: RVAA Leaders Tout Annual Conference

August 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Susan Carpenter As the Recreation Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA) yesterday concluded its Aug. 15-18 Executive Conference – an annual affair at which RV industry distributors and suppliers held a series of business-minded private meetings at the Loews Hotel in Chicago – RVAA President Susan Carpenter and Executive Director Jon Krueger agreed to a quick interview with RVBUSINESS.com to address their chief takeaways from the busy week. In a format that’s pretty unique in the business world,... Read more

Epic Rains Flood Louisiana’s Dixie RV Superstore

August 15, 2016 by · 3 Comments 

Flood waters swamp Dixie RV’s store in Hammond, La. Dixie RV Superstores CEO Greg Lala estimates that his company’s main store in Hammond, La., sustained as much as $30 million in damage to its physical plant and RV inventory as a result of a historic 50-year rainfall that fell last week, off and on, over a five-day period in southern Louisiana. And while the storm totaling more than two feet in some locales left at least five dead and led to the rescues of some 20,000 people, Lala was well... Read more

THO, PATK, DW, SKY Reflect Dow-Jones High Mark

August 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

RV factories are in full swing as the industry drives to higher gains Not since 1999 have all three major financial indexes posted record highs as they did yesterday (Aug. 11), with the Dow Jones Industrial Average at 18,613, the S&P 500 at 2,185.79 and the NASDAQ Composite at 5,228.40 – which equates to a little over a 12% increase for both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 and a 17.9% hike for the NASDAQ index over the past two years. That’s a reminder that a few of the recreational vehicle... Read more

Jayco Dealer Homecoming Underway in Orlando

August 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Jayco President Derald Bontrager addresses dealers at last year’s Homecoming Exactly a month after Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco Inc. was acquired by Thor Industries Inc., the show displays opened today (Aug 1) for the annual Jayco Dealer Homecoming with some 450 dealer personnel representing about 170 dealerships in attendance at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Fla. But when Jayco President Derald Bontrager steps up to the stage tonight to address the dealers at the company’s gala opening night... Read more

FROG Club Prepares for Record Goshen Rally

July 25, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Forest River CEO Pete Liegl addresses FROG members at last year’s rally The industry’s fastest growing brand name RV consumer club, the four-year-old Forest River Owners Group (FROG), is expecting a record turnout of 800 units – totaling 1,600 attendees – at its sold-out FROG International Rally Aug. 14-20 at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind. FROG Director Bob Byrne, who works with scores of volunteers to coordinate the rally for the growing club that currently counts... Read more

Emahiser Named COO of ‘Stealth Cargo Trailers’

July 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Don Emahiser Former EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC President Don Emahiser has been named chief operating officer for Stealth Cargo Trailers, a Bristol, Ind.-based manufacturer of steel and aluminum cargo trailers designed for hauling cars, motorcycles and snowmobiles. “Stealth is one of the leading cargo trailer manufacturers in the industry,” reported Stealth Chairman Kelly Rose, who started 250-employee Stealth about eight years ago. “And what Don (Emahiser) brings to the table is a... Read more

Massive 3-Day EverGreen Auction Starts Today

July 11, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

A rather massive three-day auction is set for today through Wednesday (July 11-13) at three former locations of EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC, a towable RV builder with plants located north of Middlebury, Ind., that suspended operations and announced the layoff of approximately 300 workers about a month ago after experiencing protracted financial difficulties. Nappanee, Ind.-based Hahn Auctioneers Inc. is handling the gavel at the EverGreen auction, which includes a wide variety of equipment,... Read more

Opinion: Thor/Jayco Deal’s a Big Game Changer

July 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Wilbur and Derald Bontrager Tectonic plates moved in a sense within the North American RV industry on Thursday (June 30) when Thor Industries Inc. – one of the RV arena’s two manufacturing leaders – announced an agreement to acquire Jayco Corp., merging Thor’s 11,000 employees with Jayco’s 3,300 workers and consolidating 47.1% of the U.S. RV retail market share under the corporate umbrella of Elkhart, Ind.-based Thor. Certainly one of the industry’s worst kept secrets by the time the... Read more

Keystone Hosts Auto, RV Clients at Open House

June 27, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

George Lathouris, director of U.S. automotive sales for KAO, in front of “cannon tubes” used for shipping awnings and moldings (Photo by Shawn Spence) Exeter, Pa.-based Keystone Automotive Operations Inc. (KAO) had previously announced the opening of its sprawling, 360,000-square-foot Brownstown, Mich., warehouse, which has been shipping parts and accessories orders to independent automotive retailers and RV parts and accessories clients since last fall. (To view a slideshow scroll to... Read more

Go RVing Canada Touts ‘Wildhood’ Ad Response

June 25, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Chris Mahony Go RVing Canada, a marketing offshoot of the 19-year-old U.S.-based Go RVing Coalition’s national market expansion program, is exceeding the expectations of its founding board, comprised of members of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian RV Association (CRVA). Although it’s closely aligned with the U.S. program, Go RVing Canada was established to give Canada’s RV industry more creative independence in an effort to reach younger – and... Read more

Opinion: Indiana Beach Tragedy an ‘Act of God’

June 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Almost lost in the week’s daunting national news was the sad story of 10-year-old Blaike Glassburn, a Mishawaka, Ind., youth who lost his life early Tuesday (June 14) while tent-camping with his family at Indiana Beach Amusement Resort in Monticello, Ind. It was a one-in-a-million set of circumstances – some would call it an act of God — that took the youngster’s life when lightning from an ominous thunderstorm hit a tree above him, dropping a large branch onto his tent at the 90-year-old... Read more

EverGreen Official Confirms Company’s Closing

June 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

RVBUSINESS.com has confirmed rampant news reports of the Friday (June 10) closure of Evergreen Recreational Vehicles LLC, a 300-employee, Middlebury, Ind.-based towable RV manufacturer. “We have suspended the majority of our operations effective Friday, as we try to reorganize, sell assets and/or brands of EverGreen RV,” indicated an official for the company located north of Middlebury in eastern Elkhart County near the Indiana Toll Road. “As we’ve been transitioning, we’ve encouraged people,... Read more

Trailer Life Magazine Celebrating 75th Birthday

June 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s not often that a publication survives for 75 years, especially in an era in which newspaper and magazine publishing in general has faced so many challenges. But those receiving the July issue of Trailer Life, published monthly out of Oxnard, Calif., by GS Media & Events, a division of Good Sam Enterprises LLC, were reminded of the fact that Trailer Life is an exception to the rule as the magazine is marking its 75th birthday in publication. That’s the gist of Publisher Bob Livingston’s... Read more

The BUZZ: Donnelly Appreciates Obama’s Visit

June 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Donnelly makes his entrance before President Barak Obama’s speech in Elkhart (Photo by Tyler Klassen) President Barack Obama’s Wednesday (June 1) return to the RV manufacturing center of Elkhart, a northern Indiana city that he repeatedly visited during the recession because of its high unemployment rates, clearly cast a positive national spotlight on a resurgent area that today accounts for 85% of U.S. recreational vehicle shipments and tens of thousands of related jobs. Obama’s visit —... Read more

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