Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC, one of the industry’s leading fifth-wheel builders, is making similar impact in the high volume travel trailer market after entering the sector in May 2008 with its lightweight North Trail line, according to a news release.
According to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI), the Elkhart, Ind.-based firm experienced a dramatic 159% increase in year-over-year travel trailer sales through the first 11 months of 2009 to earn a No. 10 ranking. Among all towable manufacturers, Heartland held the No. 4 spot in terms of market share.
“We are seeing the same type of growth in travel trailers that we experienced in the fifth-wheel market after launching fifth-wheel production in 2004,” said Tim Hoffman, vice president of sales. “It all comes down to understanding the needs of the consumer and our dealer body. We are building product that hits key price points and offers features that are highly salable in a very competitive environment.”
For November, Heartland posted a 67% increase in travel trailer unit sales over the previous year while improving its market share from 1.9% to 3.3%. Those figures came in an essentially flat market as overall travel trailer sales dipped 1.5%.
Heartland’s aluminum framed, laminated North Trail Line continued to gain ground in November, registering year-over-year gains in both unit sales and market share. Buoyed by the success of the North Trail, Heartland continued to expand its travel trailer offerings with the launch of the three new brands at last year’s National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., including:
- The teardop MPG line.
- The Caliber series, a full-featured ultra-lightweight fiberglass trailer.
- The entry-level Focus featuring five 7 ½-foot-wide floorplans and three hybrid tented models.
“With the launch of these new brands we have established Heartland as a full-line travel trailer and fifth-wheel manufacturer,” Hoffman noted. “Our commitment is to bring our travel trailer numbers in line with what we are doing on the fifth-wheel side.”
With its teardrop shape and retro-look ABS fenders, the new MPG travel trailer (shown at left) from Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC, Elkhart, Ind., hearkens back to the early days of RVing. But the laminated fiberglass-and-aluminum MPG, available in four 19- to 20-foot floorplans, three with slideouts, is fully equipped with amenities such as ducted-air conditioning, wet baths with integrated toilets, solid-wood cabinet fronts with raised-panel doors, three-way refrigerators and two-burner stoves. Introduced at the recent Louisville Show, MPG retails from $13,650. Also on display at the busy Heartland exhbit was the new mid-priced dual-entry Caliber travel trailer with four 30- to 37-foot single- or double-slide floorplans with molded front caps, metallic gray fiberglass sidewalls, insulated slam-latch baggage doors and glazed cherry cabinets with MSRPs from $25,950. In the fifth-wheel category, Heartland introduced the Greystone in five 35- to 37-foot triple-slide floorplans with aerodynamic front caps that allow an 88-degree turning radius. Standard features include heated-and-enclosed underbellies, universal docking stations, raised-panel cabinets, high-gloss ”platinum” sidewalls and free-standing dinette with four chairs. Base MSRP: $35,665.