“Destination trailers have always been treated as a secondary business in our industry,” Chris Hermon, president of Heartland, said in a press release. “For the past year, we have been putting the resources and personnel in place to be the first manufacturer to dedicate an entire line to this type of product.”
He added, “Part of the process has been communicating with our major dealers that stock heavily in destination trailers. These dealers see a lot of potential in the market and love the ability to place a retail order with us and receive delivery in a normal production time frame.”
“In addition to a separate production line,” says Hermon, “we have also assembled a separate sales team for each destination product we build, all operating under the direction of recently promoted General Manager Dave Burroughs. Dave brings a lot of passion and energy to our company.”
Burroughs noted the intent is to supply dealers with lines that provide value while meeting the needs of their respective markets.
Hermon said that with a targeted focus on the destination trailer market, he is expecting the partnership to realize significant growth in both sales and market shares by early next year. “We have an aggressive plan and the data shows our goals are very achievable,” he said.
“Expect big things at the Elkhart Open House as we introduce a new line of destination trailers to compliment what we offer today.”
Nappanee, Ind.-based Gulf Stream Coach Inc. has introduced the new Conquest/Innsbruck 40DEN destination trailer, featuring a triple-slide floorplan that gives RVers a huge front kitchen, multipurpose “den” and his-and-hers master suite. According to a press release, Gulf Stream will debut the new “Lodge Series” model as part of the Dec. 3-5 National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
The 40DEN kitchen is set off by front bay windows along with spacious countertops and hardwood cabinets. A residential refrigerator/freezer is standard and a 24-inch oven is an available option. The main living area includes a deep slide with a hide-a-bed sofa, entertainment center, luxurious wood blinds and sliding glass patio doors.
The multipurpose den provides connections and workspace for a computer, video games and flat-screen TV, as well as a hide-a-bed sofa for relaxing. When overnight guests arrive, the sofa and a fold-down bunk turn the den into a second bedroom, complete with its own wardrobe/closet. The rear master suite includes a king size bed, “en-suite” his ’n hers bath with glass-door corner shower, a private rear entrance, and a roomy wardrobe with vanity and TV hookups.
According to National Sales Manager Randy Baskerville, Conquest and Innsbruck dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada have seen remarkable growth in destination trailer sales in the past two years.
“We’ve expanded our offerings, we’ve updated our interiors, and we’ve shown vacationers and full-timers a combination of luxury, innovation, value and convenience that they simply can’t find anywhere else,” he said. “We expect our new 40DEN will fit right into the Lodge Series retail sales success story, with its multi-purpose den, spacious living area, and remarkably attractive MSRP.”
More information about the full Conquest/Innsbruck product line and all the Gulf Stream Coach events at the Louisville Show is available by contacting Randy Baskerville at 574-320-2630 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leveraging its newly formed partnership with Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC, Breckenridge will be introducing the all-new LakeView destination trailer during this week’s Elkhart County RV Open House.
According to a press release, the LakeView caters to a growing market of consumers looking for a destination trailer that can be pulled to a seasonal site or lakefront property. The line will be produced from a dedicated facility in Indiana’s Elkhart County that allows Breckenridge to build units year-round.
“We are very excited about this new product,” said Bob Phillips, Breckenridge general manager. “Breckenridge has always placed a major emphasis on the park model sector, but the market is changing. We want to be one of the first RV manufacturers that is truly committed to the destination trailer business.”
The LakeView features a comfortable, residential-style interior highlighted by panoramic windows to maximize scenic settings. Phillips noted that in addition to several “set-apart” amenities, the LakeView would be sharply priced compared to the competition.
“Unlike other manufacturers, we will not operate in the travel trailer and fifth-wheel markets so we can focus on our two core segments – park models and destination trailers,” he said. “I believe our dealers will find that very refreshing. By providing them with a very fair territory and year-round delivery of product, I am confident dealers will see this type of partnership as an opportunity to grow their business.”
Breckenridge, founded in 1991, has strong brand recognition with consumers as a forerunner in the park model and destination trailer industries.
“Breckenridge has an unbelievable name in Elkhart County,” said Chris Hermon, president of Breckenridge. “And in talking with dealers, I realized what a great reputation the company has across the country.”
He added, “It’s all about people and Breckenridge has put together a tremendous team. I expect Breckenridge and its LakeView product to hit the ground running.”
Breckenridge will be displaying at the Open House as part of Thor Industries Inc.’s expansive display at the RV/MH Hall of Fame.
Building on a strong freshman year, Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC’s Fairfield destination trailer line will introduce its first-ever “full color” fiberglass exterior as part of the upcoming Elkhart County RV Open House in northern Indiana.
The distinctive “full-color” exterior creates an upscale appearance, featuring upgraded high-gloss laminated fiberglass sidewalls complemented by a fully painted atrium design fiberglass cap.
“It’s a dramatic change, and really sets us apart from the competition,” said Nick Eppert, noting the Fairfield is still available as a traditionally built, aluminum-sided trailer.
Heartland also enhanced Fairfield’s interior decors, which proved to be a key selling point with consumers, adding new furniture designs along with updated countertops, flooring and bedroom treatments.
“We understand where the destination trailer market is going,” said Heartland RV President Chris Hermon. “I am pleased with our new aggressive look and styling in the Fairfield. We are very serious about destination trailers at Heartland and our dealers will be able to see that during this year’s Open House.”
The Fairfield lineup is being offered in six models, including the all-new 406FK featuring “the perfect combination of a front kitchen and a bunk house,” according to Eppert. All Fairfield units will continue to utilize wide-body construction with eight-foot sidewalls and a standard atrium design fiberglass cap. In addition, floorplans are equipped with several residential appointments including a free standing range, 18 cubic-foot refrigerator and microwave.
Eppert reported that dealers are energized about the “full color” exterior for the new model year. “Wilkins RV picked up the Fairfield late last year at our Bath and Churchville, N.Y., locations,” says Brian Wilkins, president. “Over this past year, our destination trailer sales have exceeded not only our previous year’s sales but also our own aggressive expectations. With better product and more models coming this fall, Wilkins RV’s expectations for next year’s destination trailer sales are even higher.”
Editor’s Note: The following story by Kristopher Bunker appears in the June issue of Woodall’s Campground Management.
While park models retain their stronghold on the destination-camping market, some OEM destination trailers continue to make noise.
Ambiguously referred to as everything from park models to “extended-stay trailers” — and, now, augmented by a new wave of “destination”-style hybrid towables generated by an array of North American recreational vehicle manufacturers — the growing trend among outdoor enthusiasts to own a unit that can be left at a campsite all season or all year may be the newest wrinkle in camping, but the units themselves are not for the most part altogether new in general concept.
Park models have, in fact, long been a reliable source of income for campground owners. More or less permanently located at a campsite, park models are a good way for campgrounds to not only cater to RV owners looking for a more residential-type camping experience, but also to draw in the non-RVing crowd to stimulate their bottom line with overnight fees that tend to dwarf those of average sites.
Kampgrounds of America (KOA) and Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI) have reported that demand for park models has risen dramatically over the past year, with registration revenues climbing to around 20% in both cases for 2012.
Given the scope of the market, it’s not surprising then that manufacturers of more “traditional” RVs have definitely taken notice, with a number of them beefing up existing models — or creating entirely new ones — in order to join the fray.
Coined “destination trailers,” these towables are generally larger and heavier than their conventional counterparts, and also include residential touches like bay windows, patio doors and larger refrigerators.
But should they be considered true park models, or do they even want to be?
A park model is defined by the ANSI A119.5 standard as “A vehicular-type unit primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping or travel use, which either has its own motive power or is drawn by another vehicle.” NEC Article 552 goes on to add that to be considered a park model, a unit must meet the following criteria: “Built on a single chassis mounted on wheels, and having a gross trailer area not exceeding 400 square feet in the set-up mode.” We’re no doubt accus- tomed to seeing the 12-foot-wide park models at campgrounds, whether they’re bungalow-type units, casitas or even yurts (to some extent), but it may be difficult to discern one of the “new breed” of park models, especially considering they’re built on 8- or 8 1/2-foot wide footprints.
This new breed of destination trailer, however, does offer a distinct advantage.
“One of the major advantages an 8 1/2- foot-wide trailer like the Bay Point Destination Park Trailer has over a 12-wide park model is the ability to affordably move or transport the trailer yourself or have any small truck transport company move the unit for you,” said Terry Hiser, sales and marketing director for Recreation by Design RV. “The 12-wide park models require a large commercial transport truck and a CDL-licensed driver at significantly higher freight costs.”
To read the full article on WCM click here.
Gulf Stream Coach Inc. is expanding the number of floorplans and features offered in its destination trailers in response to market growth.
According to Randy Baskerville, national sales manager for the Kingsport and Trailmaster divisions, “We released the new wide-body destination trailers at the Louisville show and have signed more than 40 dealers with the product. They are hitting dealers’ lots and retailing immediately.”
The Kingsport Destination Series is offering a new 401 TB floorplan with a side aisle bath that features an extra entry from the master bedroom. This unit offers a standard residential oven and an 18-cubic-foot black refrigerator. The newly designed half bath floorplan includes bunks and standard washer/dryer prep and closet. This unit also features the “King” u-dinette, which can seat up to eight family members. This unit comes with three entry doors and three slideouts. The MSRP for the Kingsport 401 TB is $27,980.
Another new model in the Kingsport Destination Series is the 39 FE standard 8 ½-foot-wide unit with an L-curved sofa Hide-A-Bed standard. This mega-slide room is 20 feet long and has 8-foot-tall ceilings with crown molding. This model has optional two-tone cabinetry in Deer Field cherry oak and contrasting white oak. This unit has a standard front fiberglass cap w with recessed LED lighting. The MSRP for the Kingsport 39 FE is $32,975.
The Lodge series by Conquest and Innsbruck features black- and gray-water holding tanks to make them acceptable at any campground plus a patio door and a detachable front hitch for a cottage look. The 408 TBS model features three slide rooms, a rear master suite, front guest room with a large bay window, private bath and has washer/dryer prep available. The kitchen features a 16-cubic-foot refrigerator and a two-tier countertop with a serving bar. The main ceiling height is almost 8 feet and a ceiling fan and fireplace are available options. MSRP for a well-equipped Conquest or Innsbruck 408 TBS is $27,448.
For more information, contact Gulf Stream Coach, 503 S. Oakland Ave., Nappanee, IN 46550, (800) 289-8787, www.gulfstreamrvtrailers.com