Forest River Expands Gas Class A Manufacturing

November 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Forest River’s gas Class A FR3 motorhome Construction work began last week on the west side of Elkhart, Ind., for an expansive new facility in which Forest River Inc. plans to consolidate and expand manufacturing of its gas-fueled Class A motorhomes. The new 180,000-square-foot plant, located just north of Forest River’s headquarters on County Road 1, is a response to “super strong” demand for the Berkshire Hathaway division’s Georgetown and FR3 Class A’s and should ultimately yield... Read more

Larry Hughes: The Quintessential Fleetwood Guy

November 13, 2015 by · 4 Comments 

Larry Hughes, 71, a bigger-than-life character and one of the industry’s most recognizable individuals over the past 40 years – a guy some might consider the quintessential Fleetwood man – passed away early Thursday (Nov. 12) morning with his family at his side near his Whidbey Island, Wash., home. Known to friends and competitors alike as an executive for now-defunct Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. – the Southern California RV manufacturing giant that controlled about a third of the U.S. RV marketplace... 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

Parks Elected as New RVDA of Canada Chairman

November 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

New RVDA of Canada Chairman Sam Parks with his wife, Debbi Sam Parks of Camp-Out RV Centre in Stratford, Ontario, has been elected as the new chairman of the RV Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada. According to a press release, Camp-Out RV is a family-owned and operated RV dealership that prides itself in providing quality products and exceptional customer service for to RV enthusiasts. Parks has been owner of Camp-Out RV for more than 20 years along with his wife, Debbi. Under his leadership Campout... Read more

Attendance Up 4% For RVDA’s Convention/Expo

November 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

RVDA President Phil Ingrassia (L) discusses issues during the association’s annual meeting It was another successful run for this week’s 2015 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo at Bally’s on the Las Vegas Strip, which was co-hosted by the U.S. Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and RVDA of Canada. Total attendance was pegged at 1,297 people, up 4.4% over the 2014 total, which itself was a 22% increase from the year before. “We’ll be doing a lot of follow-up with the... Read more

RVBusiness Top 50 Dealers Recognized in Vegas

November 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

With a standing room only crowd of more than 500 people in attendance, the RV industry recognized its best dealerships Wednesday (Nov. 4) night during the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards presentation. The ceremony highlighted the third day of events taking place this week during the International 2015 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo at Bally’s on the Las Vegas Strip, which is co-hosted by the U.S. Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and RVDA of Canada. After acknowledging the... Read more

Acquisitions, RV Segment Lift Drew’s 3Q Income

November 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Elkhart, Ind.-based Drew Industries Inc., parent to supplier Lippert Components Inc., today (Nov. 3) reported higher net income for its third quarter, ended Sept. 30, behind a 19% increase in recreational vehicle sales. Net income during the period totaled $17.3 million, or 70 cents per diluted share, compared to $15.5 million, or 64 cents per diluted share, the previous year. Consolidated net sales in the third quarter of 2015 increased to $345 million, 17% higher than the 2014 third quarter. This... Read more

National TV Show Will Showcase ‘RV of the Year’

November 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

ROTV’s Jeff Johnson and crew interview Bob Johnson from Jayco RVBusiness magazine is partnering with Rollin’ On TV to enhance the “RVBusiness 2016 RV of The Year” awards with a half-hour TV show showcasing the year’s winner not only to the industry’s trade audience – as RVBusiness has done for several years – but also for the first time to ROTV’s network of 32 million consumer households that receive the show weekly on cable and satellite TV. A total of 350,000, on average,... Read more

Furrion Finalizes Elkhart Innovation Center Plans

October 30, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Artist’s rendering of planned Furrion Innovation Center Imagine, for a moment, a modernistic, 35,000-square-foot showcase facility located along the Indiana Toll Road just west of the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind. – an eye-catching structure housing elaborate engineering offices, showrooms and a lounge for visitors that beckons curious Toll Road travelers and Hall of Fame visitors as well as business people and students intent on building careers in North America’s RV industry. Well,... Read more

THE BUZZ: RVDA’s Ingrassia on 2015 Con/Expo

October 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A majority of the RV industry’s decision-makers will gather next week in Las Vegas for the 2015 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas, an education-centric event co-hosted by the U.S. Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and RVDA of Canada at Bally’s on the Strip. Buoyed by surging wholesale shipments, RVDA spokesmen are anticipating a jump in attendance this year over the 1,242 industry attendees at last year’s Con/Expo, which, in itself, was a 22% hike from 2013.... Read more

RVIA: September RV Shipments Hit 9-Year High

October 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

RV wholesale shipments to retailers of 27,960 units were reported by manufacturers in the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) September monthly survey, 2.3% greater than the previous month and 12.4% ahead of the same month one year ago. This was the highest September total in nine years with gains recorded in conventional travel trailers and all categories of motorhomes. Seasonally adjusted, shipments in September were at an annualized rate of more than 405,000 units. Year-to-date,... Read more

Dexter Axle Acquiring an AL-KO Kober Division

October 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Elkhart, Ind.-based Dexter Axle has agreed to acquire AL-KO Vehicle Technology from AL-KO Kober SE, the company reported in a news release. The combination of the two companies, to be named DexKo Global Inc., will create a global leader in trailer axle and chassis supply with sales approaching nearly $1 billion. The transaction is expected to close at year end. DexKo Global will be majority-owned by funds managed by The Sterling Group, Dexter’s current majority owners. The combined company... Read more

THE BUZZ: Lazydays’ Sheehan on Acquisitions

October 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Tim Sheehan High-profile Tampa-area megadealer Lazydays RV announced in early October the acquisition of RV America with three stores in the Denver, Colo. market. Added to Lazydays’ current flagship store in Tampa, Fla., and its Tucson, Ariz., location, the transaction more than doubles the footprint of Lazydays – a dealership first launched by the Wallace family in 1976 that used to promote itself as the nation’s largest single-site RV dealership. In so doing, the towable-and-motorized RV... Read more

Lippert Spearheads Boys & Girls Club Fund Drive

October 20, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Jason Lippert Lippert Components Inc. CEO Jason Lippert is spearheading a special fund drive on behalf of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart and Goshen, Ind., in the hope that the RV industry will answer — to the tune of $2.5 million — the “RV Challenge” portion of a $9 million capital campaign to fund urgently-needed building projects at the two locations. Lippert, who has organized a widely successful annual fall auction for the Goshen club for a number of years, said both facilities... Read more

THE BUZZ: Keystone’s Rogers on Consolidation

October 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Bill Rogers With consolidation rampant throughout the U.S. economy, the RV industry’s aftermarket parts and accessories companies – suppliers, dealers and distributors alike – are now taking their turn. The driver in this case is LKQ Corp. (Nasdaq: LKQ), a Fortune 500 company that in less than two years has acquired the nation’s top three distributors – Keystone Automotive Operations Inc.’s NTP Distribution Inc., Atlanta-based Stag-Parkway Inc. and, most recently, The Coast Distribution... Read more

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