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

Dixie RV Survives, Thrives During 50-Year Run

July 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Crosby Forrest accepts RVBusiness Top 50 dealer award Times certainly have changed since Crosby Forrest  founded what is now Dixie RV Superstore in Newport News, Va., 50 years ago. Initially selling truck covers in Newport News, Forrest went to the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show, then in Harrisburg, and bought a Silver Eagle travel trailer and a TeePee popup. ”That’s what got us started,” recalled Forrest, now semi-retired at 74 upon the East Coast dealership’s golden anniversary. ”We... Read more

Little Guy Unveils Expansion, Distribution Plan

July 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Little Guy Worldwide LLC announced the launch of a new expansion and distribution strategy for its lineup of high-end teardrop campers focusing on improving production capacity, product quality, leveraging new buying power and the development of new product lines. Green, Ohio-based Little Guy Worldwide reported in a release that it has secured manufacturing space and will be moving into a 169,000­-square­-foot facility large enough to accommodate current and new product line demands. Little Guy... Read more

Derald Bontrager Resigns as Chairman of RVIA

July 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Derald Bontrager Due to the recent acquisition of Jayco Inc. by Thor Industries Inc., Jayco President and CEO Derald Bontrager has resigned his position as chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), effective immediately. The Reston, Va.-based trade association reported in a release that Bontrager resigned in order to comply with RVIA bylaws prohibiting a member company from having two voting members on the board of directors. Thor’s acquisition of 3,300-employee, family-held... Read more

The BUZZ: What’s with Gerber’s ‘Death Spiral?’

July 18, 2016 by · 6 Comments 

Greg Gerber An ongoing series of controversial columns penned by RV Daily Report Editor Greg Gerber has certainly captured the attention of the North American RV arena, including industry insiders as well as consumers whom, he maintains, often harbor “seething anger” over the industry’s quality, warranty and service issues. While the topic of industry quality is becoming more of a priority lately among numerous manufacturers, suppliers and dealers, Gerber’s critical series is, as he himself... Read more

Jayco Hummingbird Enjoys Successful Launch

July 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Hummingbird 17RK trailer by Jayco With the spring launch of the teardrop-style Hummingbird travel trailer, Jayco Inc. has entered a niche market occupied by, among others, the R-Pod from Forest River Inc., the T@B from Little Guy Worldwide LLC, and, more recently, the Winnie Drop from Winnebago Industries Inc.  According to John Fisher, Jayco’s senior product director for fold-downs and lightweights that includes the White Hawk and Jay Feather brands, the Hummingbird launch has been hugely successful. “With... Read more

The Buzz: Ingrassia Discusses CFPB, Con/Expo

July 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Phil Ingrassia Recently, the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) asked its membership to contact their U.S. senators, urging them to support S. 2663, the “Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act,” which would require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to withdraw the “flawed guidance” that attempts to eliminate dealers’ ability to discount vehicle financing for consumers. The legislation, which would require the CFPB to follow certain rules, such as public... Read more

Grand Design RV Co. Offers Tribute To Workers

July 13, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

Grand Design President Don Clark addresses employees Tuesday during a companywide tribute for Clark’s being named EY Entrepreneur of the Year Wearing T-shirts that read “It’s All About The Team” on the front, the employees of Grand Design Recreation Vehicles Co. gathered Tuesday (July 12) inside Plant No. 3 of the manufacturer’s campus north of Middlebury, Ind., for special recognition of President Don Clark’s recent Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year award for... Read more

SSI: Towable Sales Gain 8.6% in May, 12.4% YTD

July 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Year-over-year towable retail registrations grew 8.6% in May – boosted by continued strong performance in the travel trailer sector – while posting a 12.4% gain for the first five months, According to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI), results by category showed: Sales for the high-volume travel trailer segment increased 11.5% for the month and 15.7% year-to-date. Fifth-wheel registrations were flat, up 1% in May, while posting a 4.3% gain for the first five months. Folding... 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

The BUZZ: Riegel Grows ‘Airstream 2 Go’ Niche

July 8, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

Airstream 2 Go founder Dicky Riegel Now entering its fourth year of operation, Airstream 2 Go – the exclusive, factory-authorized source in North America to rent current model Airstream trailers, custom-matched to a dedicated Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ tow vehicle – enjoyed a 70% jump in year-over-year revenue in 2015 and continues to track up this year, said company founder and former Airstream Inc. President and CEO Dicky Riegel. “We began operations in May 2013 so the fact that we’re still going... Read more

Patrick Industries Acquires LS Mfg. Inc. for $11M

July 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

In a company release today (July 5) Patrick Industries Inc. announced that it had completed the acquisition of the business and certain assets of Elkhart, Ind.-based Vacuplast LLC, doing business as L.S. Manufacturing Inc. (LS Mfg.). LS Mfg. builds a wide variety of thermoformed plastic parts and components, primarily serving the recreational vehicle market, as well as certain industrial markets. the company’s trailing 12-month revenues through May 2016 were approximately $12 million and... Read more

Thor Announces Acquisition of Jayco for $576M

July 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Wilbur and Derald Bontrager Thor Industries Inc. today (July 1) announced the acquisition of Jayco Corp. for approximately $576 million in cash. The company reported in a statement that the transaction “represents a unique and significant opportunity to enhance the growth of Thor and advance the company’s strategic focus on growing its recreational vehicle business.” In particular, Jayco brings complementary products in travel trailers, folding camping trailers, higher-end diesel... Read more

RVIA: May RV Shipments Post 13.4% YOY Gain

June 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

RV shipments to retailers continued strongly in May with shipments of 37,955 units, representing a gain of 13.4% ahead of this same month one year earlier. This was the ninth consecutive monthly improvement and marked the best May total since 2006. On a seasonally adjusted basis, May’s totals represented an annualized rate of more than 380,000 units. Year-to-date, shipments have now reached 186,214 units through the first five months of the year, a 10.3% improvement over this same period a year... 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

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