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Thor Buys Plant to Grow Motorhome Operations

February 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Thor Industries Inc. today (Feb. 18) announced an expansion of production capacity for its motorhomes through an agreement to purchase a 220,000-square-foot facility located in Elkhart, Ind., formerly used to produce Monaco towable recreational vehicles and owned by Allied Specialty Vehicles Inc. According to a press release, the additional production capacity will be used to meet continued strong demand for products produced by the company’s Thor Motor Coach (TMC) subsidiary. TMC will... Read more

Jayco Plans Launch of ‘Jay Smart’ Travel Trailer

February 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Jay Smart travel trailer Jayco Inc. approved the launch of its new Jay Smart, a line of Euro-styled, ultra-lightweight RVs. According to a press release, the new line of towables is slated to be built on Jayco’s campus in Middlebury, Ind. Jayco displayed a prototype of the Jay Smart during the 2013 Louisville Show. The company reported that dealers’ reaction was “overwhelmingly positive” to the modernized, easy-to-tow and lightweight travel trailer. “With the knowledge and experience we’ve... Read more

Jim Shields Service Set for March 1 in Stockton

February 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Jim Shields Editor’s Note: The following is the obituary for Jim Shields, owner of Pan Pacific RV Centers in northern California and a major figure in the RV retail sector. Shields served in several capacities for the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) while founding and serving as president of CalRVDA. James Freeman  “Jim”  Shields, longtime resident of Stockton, Calif., aged 68, entered into Heaven on February 13, 2014 following a courageous battle with cancer.  A native... Read more

RVDA: Shields Focused on Making Things Better

February 14, 2014 by · 3 Comments 

Jim Shields The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) announced that former RVDA Chairman Jim Shields of Pan Pacific RV Centers Inc., passed away on Thursday (Feb. 13). Shields served as RVDA chairman from 2006-07 and, until his death, was a member of the RVDA Board of Delegates, and served as co-chairman of the Government Relations Committee. He was also a past director of the Mike Molino RV Learning Center board and a founding member of CalRVDA, serving as president. In 2013, Shields received... Read more

Molino: Tribute to Jim Shields, an Industry Giant

February 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Jim Shields Editor’s Note: The following is a letter penned by former Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) President Mike Molino to Sherry Shields, wife of Jim Shields, who passed away Thursday (Feb. 13) after a long battle with cancer. Shields, president of Pan Pacific RV Centers, a northern California dealership, was a key figure in industry affairs and served in several capacities for RVDA, including chairman. He was also a founder and president of CalRVDA. The letter appears on... Read more

Drew Industries Exceeds $1B in Revenue for ’13

February 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Drew Industries Inc, parent to RV and manufactured home suppliers Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., today (Feb. 13) reported a double-digit increase in sales for its fourth quarter – driven by strong performance in its RV segment – while topping $1 billion in revenue for the full year. Sales in the fourth quarter increased to $225 million, 12% higher than the 2012 fourth quarter. Net income totaled $11.1 million, or 46 cents per diluted share, compared to $4.7 million, or 21 cents... Read more

Winter Show Report: Good News For RV Sector

February 12, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

RVers check out the displays at the Florida RV SuperShow Parents pushing kids in strollers. Families walking through and looking at RVs. And yes, plenty of Baby Boomers looking at purchasing their first RV or trading in their old one for something new. That scene is being repeated over and over again in crowded exhibition hallways across the country as the RV selling season gets into full swing. And if the crowds at major winter RV shows are any indication, 2014 looks to be another strong year for... Read more

MARVAC Show Sees Strong Gate Despite Snow

February 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Show attendees check out the General RV accessories display Editor’s Note: The following story, written by Rick Kessler for RVBusiness, offers a look at the recently completed Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) show in Novi. Kessler is managing editor for Heritage Media, a chain of 11 newspapers in southeast Michigan, and author of the Gr8LakesCamper blog. Howell, Mich., residents Glenn and Becky Pietila stepped down out of a Rockwood Roo, an affordable Forest... Read more

Allied Specialty Vehicles Exits Towable Market

February 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Orlando, Fla.-based Allied Specialty Vehicles Inc. (ASV) announced today (Feb. 10) it is closing towable operations and exiting the towable RV market in order to “concentrate on its growing, profitable motorized recreational vehicle product lines” that include the American Coach, Fleetwood RV, Holiday Rambler and Monaco brands. The towable division was not sold, but was simply closed, confirmed Steve Hileman, director of marketing for Decatur, Ind.-based Allied Recreation Group... Read more

Airstream Inc. Reports ‘Record Growth’ for 2013

February 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Airstream's Bob Wheeler Airstream Inc., a subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc., announced a 59% sales increase in calendar 2013. Airstream, which manufactures travel trailers and Class B motorhomes, attributed its second year in a row of record growth to a more committed dealer network, accelerated marketing efforts and an overall industry uptick. According to a press release, sales of Airstream’s Interstate Class B motorhomes were up 51% year-over-year while travel trailer sales increased 59%,... Read more

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