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Camping World Buying Tom Johnson, Dandy RV

December 19, 2014 by · 5 Comments 

Marcus Lemonis Camping World Inc.’s 100-store-plus network of rolling stock RV dealerships has taken an appreciable step forward with the acquisitions of two high profile U.S. dealerships, Tom Johnson Camping Centers (TJCC) in Marion and Concord, N.C., and Dandy RV Superstore in Oxford, Ala., confirms Camping World Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis. This, of course, is big news for the industry at large, coming as it does amid an era of continuing consolidation. Tom Johnson’s, a regional powerhouse... Read more

Forest River, Thor Foundation to Aid Employees

November 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Forest River Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, and publicly held Thor Industries Inc. yesterday (Nov. 4) announced the establishment of an unprecedented community foundation set up to benefit the 15,000-plus employees of the two RV-building corporate giants and their families during times of need. The Forest River/Thor Community Foundation will be jointly funded by the two companies and will provide grants of up to $20,000 per qualifying employee or family to help cover emergency financial needs... Read more

Newmar’s Appreciation Dinner Honors Suppliers

October 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Newmar honored its suppliers in an Appreciation Dinner on Oct. 23. Shown are: Back row (L-R): Ron Stichter, Newmar VP of Engineering; Michael O’Connell, Newmar VP of Purchasing; Terry Martin, Newmar Purchasing Agent; Kevin Bogan, Newmar VP of Manufacturing; Dylan Jones, Equipment Service/Stressco. Front row (L-R): Jerry Bernaert, Newmar Purchasing Agent; Elizabeth Hall, Newmar Purchasing Agent; Ross Yoder, owner of Equipment Service/Stressco; Tim Pennington, Equipment Service/Stresco; Tonya Haab,... Read more

Thetford Tentatively Settling 2012 Norcold Suit

September 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Norcold Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Thetford Corp., has agreed to a $33 million settlement of two class action lawsuits filed in 2012 pending in federal district court in Los Angeles. The suits were filed on behalf of customers who had purchased certain Norcold gas absorption RV refrigerators and alleged the refrigerators had design defects that created safety risks and that the company had sought to hide from the public. As many as 569,000 refrigerators potentially could be included under... Read more

PRVCA’s Service Intro Course Starts on Sept. 22

September 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The RV Service Introduction Course, hosted by Northampton Community College in conjunction with the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA), begins Sept. 22 and runs through Oct. 26. According to a press release, the program allows students to gain an in-depth understanding of recreation vehicle maintenance with intensive, competency-based instruction. This course is the logical entry point into the RV Technician Training Program. It delves into the workings of a typical RV dealership... Read more

RVDA Con/Expo Taking Aim at Next Generation

August 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

An emerging theme within the ranks of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) these days is to better train and engage the next generation of dealer leadership in the intricacies of the RV business and the long-term agenda of the Fairfax, Va.-based trade group. The crux of that effort is an ongoing “Young Executive” initiative that will be central to the agenda of the 2014 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Nov. 10–14 at Bally’s in Las Vegas. Toward that end, David Spader... Read more

Preregistrations Grow for 2014 ‘RV Open House’

August 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Dealers check out product at Forest River display during last year’s Open House Forest River Inc. President Pete Liegl is anticipating a big crowd for the 7th Annual Elkhart County RV Open House Week, Sept. 15-19 in and around the northern Indiana RV-building center of Elkhart, Ind. – for his own company and all of its divisions, which again will be set up with virtually hundreds of units on display at the company’s Dynamax facilities on County Road 6 on the northeast side of town. “Yes,... Read more

Coalition, Forest River, Address RV Transports

August 8, 2014 by · 3 Comments 

B.J. Thompson During a hectic week around the RV-building capital of Elkhart, Ind., the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) RV Transportation Coalition managed to sit down Wednesday morning (Aug. 6) and forge significant progress on a number of fronts. “It was an outstanding inaugural meeting,” reported Chairman B.J. Thompson. “The segments of the industry that wanted to come together were there. We had outstanding representation of transporter members and OEMs, and we were pleased... Read more

Ten Frequently Asked ‘RVB Top 50’ Questions 

July 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Editor’s Note: The following reviews the Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions concerning the reasons behind the relaunch of the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards program, the nomination and selection process and details on the Nov. 12 event set in Las Vegas. #1: What are the RV Business Top 50 Dealer Awards? The concept was actually borrowed about a decade ago – back when RVB was owned by Affinity Group Inc. — from AGI’s “Top 100” marine dealers awards program sponsored by the company’s... Read more

Maxwell: The Real Impetus for Top 50 Revival

July 11, 2014 by · 5 Comments 

Gaylord Maxwell Editor’s Note: The following is a column authored by RVBusiness Publisher Sherman Goldenberg on industry pundit and journalist Gaylord Maxwell and his contributions to the industry, in particular the establishment of the Consumer Care Commission. Goldenberg credits Maxwell, who passed away in September of 2008, as the inspiration behind the revival of the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards program. You may not remember Gaylord Maxwell, but a lot of us do. A former high school... Read more

Jayco Details Restructuring at Dealer Confab

June 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Jayco President and CEO Derald Bontrager welcomes some 170 dealers to the company’s “2014 Homecoming.” Middlebury, Ind.-based RV builder Jayco Inc.’s revised management team was on a mission during the company’s “2014 Homecoming” dealer meeting, June 22-25 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, to assure representatives of some 170 dealerships in attendance that the future will exceed the past after a series of unusual and, some would say, exciting new... Read more

‘Bids for Kids’ Fundraiser Rates as ‘Best Ever’

May 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The EverGreen RV table makes a bid during the auction Led by strong support from the RV industry, the 14th Annual “Bids for Kids” Dinner & Auction fundraiser May 3 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame on the northeast side of Elkhart, Ind., “exceeded all expectations,” according to organizers for what has become one of the industry’s key annual social affairs. “It was the best auction event we’ve ever had,” said Michilah Miller, director of development and special events for the Boys &... Read more

Camping World’s McMahon’s RV Buyout Stalls?

April 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Camping World Inc. President and CEO Marcus Lemonis says the deal that his 90-store Chicago-based RV rolling stock chain has been trying to put together to acquire troubled Southern California dealer McMahon’s RV — once one of the state’s leading RV retailers – is being jeopardized because of escalating costs that have surfaced since Camping World agreed in principle to buy the store. “We signed a letter of intent about 10 days ago on a McMahon’s transaction and, unfortunately, we’ve... Read more

Thor’s K-Z Purchase Fuels Consolidation Trend

April 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

K-Z’s headquarters in Shipshewana The continued consolidation of the North American RV industry was underscored by Thursday’s (April 17) announcement that Thor Industries Inc. had reached an agreement to acquire Shipshewana, Ind.-based towable RV builder K-Z Inc. in a $53.4 million transaction set to close May 1. News that K-Z, led by founder and CEO Daryl Zook, was being purchased by the nation’s largest RV builder came only weeks after No. 3 Jayco Inc. bought Shipshewana’s Open Range... Read more

RVIA Setting up Offices on East Side of Elkhart

April 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Elkhart site for RVIA offices Following up on a March board decision, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has begun setting up a regional office in a sedate, one-level office complex near the intersection of County Road 17 and Middlebury Street on the east side of the RV-building center of Elkhart, Ind. In fact, RVIA staff members are on site today (April 16) at 663 C.R. 17, a contemporary, one-level complex just south of Lucchese’s Italian Restaurant that’s easily accessible from... Read more

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