Lightweights Make Mark at Oregon RV Show

March 7, 2011 by · Comments Off on Lightweights Make Mark at Oregon RV Show 

Evergreen Element shown at Oregon RV Show and Sale

Evergreen Element shown at Oregon RV Show and Sale

Click here to watch a vide courtesy of KEZI-TV, Eugene, Ore., about the following story from KEZI.

Oregon RV manufacturers and dealers say sales continue to rise since the recession. Perhaps the biggest indicator of that is the activity at the Oregon RV Show and Sale which concluded on Sunday (March 6) at the Lane County Fairgrounds.

Dealers say the big improvements this year are lighter RVs that are also more fuel-efficient. Sutton RV General Manager Eric Benson says last year was basically the kickoff for lightweight sales. He says a small, silver RV is his top seller right now, and says he’s never before seen more sales in this line of lightweights.

Last year, he says they increased by 40%. So this year, he brought in four different lines.

“Right now, we’re on pace to do another 30% increase this year even with the gas prices the way they are. So lightweight is the key to the market right now.”

“It’s growing across the nation. Every show we’ve talked to has had more and more people coming this year than last year so we are expecting an increase as people gain confidence,” said Dave Weinkauf, Oregon Show Promotions.

Weinkauf ran the RV show, and he says everything, not just the lightweights, is now more fuel-efficient, even the motorhomes.

And with that, Benson says most models have been redesigned since the recession to be more affordable. He says some cost 20% to 30% less than a few years ago.

While you might not be able to tell from the outside that some models have become more fuel-efficient, one surely sticks out.

The Element by Evergreen Recreational Vehicles LLC made its first appearance at an Oregon RV show this past weekend.

Designer Dan Rodabaugh says the streamline shape and that fact that it runs on a single axle, instead of a duel axle, helps it save on gas.

As for the shape, Rodabaugh says he was inspired by boats.

He calls the Element a yacht on wheels because most of the materials come from the marine industry. They’re waterproof and rotproof.

“I’ve always been in the marine lifestyle and so when I got into the RV industry I noticed there was maybe a little bit of a lack of styling and detail,” Rodabaugh said.

The Element runs for $47,860 and is now available at Sutton RV in Eugene.

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RVs Mark a Different Road Back to Recovery

December 28, 2010 by · Comments Off on RVs Mark a Different Road Back to Recovery 

The recreational vehicle industry, a gauge of Americans’ ability to splurge on adult toys, has been stuck in the slow lane of the road to recovery. Now, RV makers are trying to move things along with more fuel-efficient trailers aimed at frugal travelers tired of airports and motels, the Wall Street Journal reported.

U.S. sales of RVs — ranging from towable campers costing as little as $4,000 to bus-like behemoths with two bathrooms and king-size beds for $300,000 or more — boomed from 2000 through 2007 as Americans tapped their swelling home equity to buy shelter on wheels. The industry built bigger and fancier models, catering to those whose idea of getting away from it all involves taking a lot of it with them.

But RV sales began plunging in 2008 and last year were about 46% below the peak level in 2005, to around $6.2 billion, according to market researcher Statistical Surveys Inc. Several big manufacturers have gone through bankruptcy, and at least 200 dealers in new RVs, or 8% of the total, have left the business.

The industry is fighting back by offering lighter vehicles aimed at a broader range of buyers, while expanding advertising that touts the affordability of RV travel. It is also hoping that people put off by security pat-downs and other air-travel nuisances will turn to RVs.

“We have survived tough times in the past,” Richard Coon, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), said in a pep talk to members of the trade group at its annual convention last month.

One priority is to make more converts like Tim and Jennifer Tracy of Pennington, N.J., both lawyers. They bought their first RV — a 27-foot Airstream, with a list price of about $70,000 — last January. “We wanted to make memories for our boys,” ages 2 and 6, says Mr. Tracy. His idea of a vacation is backpacking; his wife prefers resort hotels. The RV was “a sort of compromise,” Tim Tracy says, and has proved a hit with the family.

Manufacturers are cutting the weight of RVs by as much as 25%, partly by using plastic composite materials instead of wood, to improve fuel economy and help counter fears of rising gasoline prices.

They also are trying to make RVs look less like white boxes. EverGreen Recreational Vehicle LLC recently introduced a sleek new trailer called the Element, which starts at $38,000 and is light enough to be pulled by a minivan. The RV industry gets a large share of its sales from buyers over age 50, but EverGreen’s 37-year-old engineering director, Dan Rodabaugh, hopes the Element, with its simple and uncluttered interior, will appeal to younger buyers like himself.

Airstream Inc., a unit of Thor Industries Inc., recently teamed up with the retailer Eddie Bauer LLC to design and market a model aimed at younger and more active people who want to haul kayaks or mountain bikes inside their trailers.

The industry association spent about $8.25 million in 2010 to buy TV and other ads using talking animals to tout the economy and family-friendliness of RV trips. It plans to increase that budget to about $11 million in 2011 and run the ads in movie theaters as well as on cable TV, online and in print.

“Our best commercial for our industry is the airlines,” Robert J. Olson, CEO of Winnebago Industries Inc., told analysts recently. “If you haven’t gone on an airline lately, it’s a real hassle.” Meanwhile, the recent bed-bug scare helped make people warier of motels, says John Lenzo, an owner of Colonial Airstream, a dealer in Lakewood, N.J.

The industry’s biggest manufacturer, Thor, was founded in 1980 when Wade Thompson and Peter Orthwein acquired an ailing Airstream. Since then, Thor has made a series of acquisitions that, along with organic growth, have given it about a third of the RV market in terms of sales. In 2009, Thor also shored up the industry’s largest retailer, Camping World Inc., by lending $30 million to the owners of that chain so they could put more capital into the company.

Camping World, which has 78 stores, accounts for around 15% of Thor’s total RV sales. “It would have been pretty messy if they had gone under,” says Richard Riegel, senior group president of Thor. Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, says his company could have survived without the loans but wanted a “more flexible and comfortable balance sheet.”

In the first nine months of 2010, U.S. retail sales of new RVs totaled about 152,000, up 5.5% from the depressed year-earlier level, according to Statistical Surveys. Manufacturers’ shipments of RVs in 2011 are projected to rise 4%, to about 246,000 units, the RVIA trade group says. Thor’s Riegel says shipments will grow to 300,000 annually by 2013, which would still leave them 23% below the market peak in 2006.

RVs have never appealed much to urban hipsters, and sales tend to be concentrated in smaller cities, towns and rural areas. The RVIA estimates that 8.3 million American households, or about 7%, own RVs. At this point, it remains largely a domestic industry. It’s too costly to ship the big products around the world. Some of the manufacturers do have vague hopes of implanting themselves in China at some point in the future, but that’s just talk for now. They say China lacks the infrastructure of places to park RVs.

Makers of RVs say the 76 million Baby Boomers remain a very promising market, though many have lost their home equity and savings and aren’t in a position to buy now. As a result of those financial pressures, many boomers are likely to rent or share RVs rather than buy them, says John W. Martin, CEO of Boomer Project LLC, a market-research firm.

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RVB Best of Show: TMC’s A.C.E. Motorhome

December 10, 2010 by · Comments Off on RVB Best of Show: TMC’s A.C.E. Motorhome 

Thor Motor Coach A.C.E. on display in Louisville.

Thor Motor Coach A.C.E. on display in Louisville.

There were plenty of innovative new RVs on display at RVIA’s 48th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., and that’s no surprise because tough economic times tend to bring out the best in many companies as they turn up the R&D focus to better compete for market share in a tight market.

Among the most eye-catching were Evergreen Recreational Vehicles LLC’s starkly different Element travel trailer, Fleetwood RV Inc.’s innovative rear-slide Tioga and Jamboree Class C, Monaco RV LLC’s futuristic Holiday Rambler Trip Class A, Earthbound RV’s chic new travel trailer, Airstream Inc.’s classy Eddie Bauer Edition Airstream, Open Range RV Inc.’s patio-equipped fifth-wheel, Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc.’s new high-end Voltage toyhauler and Winnebago Industries Inc.’s redesigned Winnebago Tour/Itasca Ellipse Class A.

But the RVBusiness staff’s unanimous choice for “Best of Show” was Thor Motor Coach’s A.C.E. Class A motorhome.

“In our view, the A.C.E. – an acronym for “Class A & C Evolution” – is a prime example of a post-recessionary motorhome that addresses the changing tastes – and wallets – of American consumers yet retains in the process a degree of style, dignity and even a touch of class,” stated RVBusiness Publisher Sherman Goldenberg.

Bottom line, the A.C.E., designed on a 16,000-pound GVWR, gas-fueled Ford chassis to combine the best attributes of Class A and C motorhomes, is a sharp-looking, kid-friendly, entry-level coach with full body paint, electric jacks, rear-view camera, kitchen slides, optimal storage, pet-friendly accoutrements and an electric drop-down cockpit bed that retails for under $80,000.

“You’ll see show specials for $69,995,” said Thor Motor Coach President and CEO Bill Fenech, “which will be a great deal for the customer, and the dealer should be very happy with his margin on that. We want our dealers to make money, but we want our customers to be able to get into the coach. They are going to get into it for not much more than a Class C price point.”

Imagine that?

A.C.E. interior

A.C.E. interior

“The ACE is a real neat project,” added Fenech. “It started out as an entry-level motorhome. We wanted to get into that price segment even more than we were. We wanted to be aggressive. So, instead of just coming out with a price piece that is just another me-too motorhome, we looked at the market a little differently. We looked at the Class A and Class C markets, and there are some advantages to both products for the buyer. We looked at the two, hence the name A.C.E. – A & C Evolution.”

Floorplan, eye appeal and price are the key ingredients that appeal to the retail buyers, said Fenech, and the A.C.E. was designed with those three priorities in mind.

Consistent with a market that in some cases has consumers looking for smaller vehicles, the A.C.E. is a relatively short 29 feet, 7 inches, in length – shorter than some Class C motorhomes – yet it offers 84-inch headroom.

The cockpit tends to appeal to more of a Class C buyer, with a moderate exterior eyebrow in a front cap that houses an overhead front bunk and smaller windshield with an integrated visor that, according to Fenech, limits distracting direct sunlight and heat. “Women are saying that this doesn’t feel as overwhelming as a big bus,” says Fenech.

In addition, drivers can check out the coach’s passenger side with a uniquely placed floor line window while a large conversation mirror above the driver’s seat affords a good view of the living space.

Storage capacities, on the other hand, lean more toward the traditional Class A, with exterior “mega-storage” including a relatively huge rear curb-side compartment.

Major passenger-side basement storage compartments are located under the patio awning, while noisy heat-generating appliances are located on the driver’s side of the coach away from the activities. Campsite hookups are situated on the driver’s side rear of the coach.

Incorporated in the entry step is a storage drawer and toolbox for keeping tools, gloves and other RV gear without having to track through the coach, and there’s a broom and coat closet at the entry door in addition to a “Motorhome Mud Room” at the main entrance door for dirty shoes and gear.

In the final analysis, however, the fact that the A.C.E. is inordinately pet-friendly – with an “integrated tiedown” for dogs outside plus an inside “Kibble Station” for feeding pets – was the icing on the cake in opting to name Thor’s A.C.E. “Best of Show.”

“We tried to do a price leader coach before,” added Fenech, “but we could never get it right. Everything we put in this coach, we did for a reason. Every single dollar we spent or dollar we took out, we did it for a reason.”

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Industry Steps it Up a Notch at Louisville 2010

December 7, 2010 by · Comments Off on Industry Steps it Up a Notch at Louisville 2010 

Opening day activity at the 2010 National RV Trade Show.

Opening day activity at the 2010 National RV Trade Show.

While attendance was up a moderate 4.5% at this year’s Louisville Show, North American recreational vehicle manufacturers generally reported an upbeat atmosphere and – in some cases – robust sales at the 48th Annual National RV Trade Show, Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) on the south side of Louisville, Ky.

The wares and services of more than 300 manufacturers, suppliers and distributors were displayed across more than 766,000 square feet of show space in the KEC  during the industry’s key annual trade-only event, sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

Now back in his Millersburg, Ind., office, Ed Kinney, vice president of sales for Carriage Inc., says results of the three-day show were decidedly positive and a good omen for 2011. “It was a record show for Carriage,” said Kinney. “Compared to last year, sales have probably tripled.”

Carriage debuted a revamp of its high-end Royals International at Louisville, along with a new “entry level” Cabo line and a new Cameo model — all of which, Kinney predicts, will translate into increased market share in 2011 for Carriage, which currently produces 25 units a week. “We intend to steadily increase production until we are building 37 units a week by the end of August,” he told

On the other hand, some felt that show traffic in the KEC corridors was a little thin at times. “From a numbers standpoint, the Louisville Show maybe didn’t have the impact that some have had in the past,” said Sid Johnson, director of marketing for Jayco Inc., Middlebury, Ind.

“Attendance seemed down from last year,” he added. “It seemed to be slower, but it may have been a function of space. Last year’s show was compressed from past years. This year it was more spread out than normal. Yet, I thought it was a very good show.”

Indeed, Johnson said all three of the company’s divisions, Entegra Coach, Jayco and Starcraft, were “pleasantly surprised” by the number of new dealers they were able to sign. And Johnson, for his part, thought that Louisville 2010 was clearly better than last year and was in the “upper half” and perhaps “upper third” of the national RV shows at which he has worked in his esteemed 36-year industry career.

“The overall and almost overwhelming positive aspect of it was the very refreshing enthusiasm and confidence that was evident from almost every dealer for the coming year,” Johnson added. “We were pleased with the whole thing.”

“The show went well for us,” noted Bob Wheeler, president of Jackson Center, Ohio-based Airstream Inc. “Traffic was down a bit, but purchases per attendee were up. We had a separate meeting for dealers and were able to present them with an overview of our products, our business plan and marketing efforts (for 2011). We received very positive feedback.”

According to Wheeler, the launch at the show of Airstream’s new Eddie Bauer co-branded 25-foot travel trailer generated a lot of positive feedback. “There was lots of excitement and strong initial orders,” said Wheeler. “They really seemed to get the collaboration and added functionality of the unit.”

Clearly one of the show’s busier displays was that of EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC, which unveiled a distinctive new 24-foot, wood-free Element travel trailer and also hosted an appearance by Terry Bradshaw, a former NFL quarterback, current Fox sports analyst and a new minority owner of Evergreen.

Supplier booths inside Freedom Hall

Supplier booths inside Freedom Hall

“It’s (the Element) different, unique and drew a lot of traffic,” said Doug Lantz, president and CEO of the Middlebury, Ind., towable manufacturer. “Being as it’s one of the lightest weight full-size trailers (at Louisville), it definitely got people’s attention.”

Motorhome specialist Tiffin Motor Homes Inc. had a solid show, according to Bob Tiffin, president of Red Bay, Ala., -based manufacturer.

“We had a great show, and took a lot of orders,” said Tiffin. “The dealers we had there were all happy with what was going on and they were complaining that we didn’t have hardly enough inventory. You know, they didn’t have enough motorhomes to sell, so they put their money where their mouths were and ordered a lot of units — 240 units altogether.”

That’s pretty decent, most would agree, in an era in which motorhome sales certainly aren’t at their peak. “Well, I can’t speak for the rest of the industry,” said Tiffin. “But we’ve (Tiffin) had a good year so far, and it looks like next year may be even better. So, our plans are to keep running 11 or 12 units a day and keep moving forward.”

Although Tiffin sees a moderate shift to smaller coaches, the company’s best seller at Louisville was a 40-foot Phaeton retailing in the $190,000-$230,000 range.

Bob Olson, chairman, president and CEO of Winnebago Industries Inc., came away with a positive take on the show. “I think it was an improvement over last year,” said Olson, second vice chairman of RVIA and co-chair of the Go RVing Coalition. “Last year, everyone really had a lot of uncertainty as to what the future held in store. I sensed a real feeling of optimism (this year) from dealers, other manufacturers and suppliers. I thought it was a very positive show.

“Having said that, we really don’t gauge success or failure of the show by what we get for orders,” said Olson, whose Forest City, Iowa, company drew a lot of attention with a modernistic redesign of its top-of-the line Winnebago Tour/Itasca Ellipse.

“We don’t go there with the attitude of ‘this is going to be what we have to have in orders to get to the spring market.’ It was a good show. You have to consider the economic times that we’re in. Going forward, we think that we’ll continue to get orders from the dealers that were at the show because it gave them an opportunity to see a lot of our product lineup. And from what we were able to see, they were very excited about it, especially Tuesday (opening day). It was nonstop traffic from the time we opened until we closed.”

Thor’s Goshen, Ind.-based Keystone RV Co. Inc., reports seeing strong traffic all three days of the show and “high dealer enthusiasm.”

“Dealers seemed to be very optimistic about their Keystone business and the industry in general, and very enthusiastic,” said Keystone President Bob Martin. “We could see it in their eyes. Keystone’s focus at this year’s show was to make each of our brands even stronger. So, we did not launch a new product line but chose instead to concentrate on our existing lines.

Traffic, likewise, was “steady” at the expansive Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. display at which dealers were introduced to an array of new models. “Our new products were very well received,” noted Steve Paul, vice president of sales and marketing for the Goshen, Ind.-based Thor division, which debuted an ‘upper-end’ Voltage toy hauler, a redesigned Aerolite Superslide series, an entry-level Aspen Trail towable line and affordable Rubicon toy hauler.

Speaking for both the motorized and towable sides of his company, Pete Liegl, president and CEO of Forest River Inc., based in Elkhart, Ind., had good things to say about the 2010 Louisville Show and the year ahead.

On a scale of “1” to “10,” in fact, he gave it an 8.5, noting that dealer interest was consistent with that of this fall’s Hershey Show and Elkhart County Open House.

“We did very well,” said Liegl. “Obviously, no matter what we do we could do better, but we had a good show. Dealers were enthusiastic about the product we have, and that includes the new Shasta plus Prime Time and our existing Coachmen and Forest River products. Beyond that, I think the whole show was good for everybody, and I think it’s an indication that everybody thinks it’s going to be a good year next year, too.”

“Next year will be better than this year as a generalization,” said Liegl, who expects his company to post about $2.4 billion in 2010 revenues. “If I had to guess, as far as the total number of units sold next year versus this year, I’m anticipating a minimum increase of 5% for the total industry. But I can guarantee you one thing: I’m not going to settle for 5%. All in all, though, I’ve got to say that this year’s been a very acceptable year for everybody in the RV business. And next year I think is going to be more of the same thing – a little better than this year.”

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VIDEO #2: Bradshaw Promotes EverGreen RV

December 1, 2010 by · Comments Off on VIDEO #2: Bradshaw Promotes EverGreen RV 

Video #2 features a video courtesy of EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC and shows NFL legend Terry Bradshaw talking about the company’s products.

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EverGreen RV Unveils Element Product Line

November 30, 2010 by · Comments Off on EverGreen RV Unveils Element Product Line 

EverGreen Element. Photo courtesy of EverGreen RV

EverGreen Element. Photo courtesy of EverGreen RV

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC, the leading innovator in eco-friendly, sustainable all-composite travel trailers and fifth-wheels, today (Nov. 30) announced the unveiling of the next generation of American-made, cutting-edge recreational vehicles with its new Element product line.

The revolutionary Element line of travel trailers was unveiled to the media and the public at an event with spokesman Terry Bradshaw and the EverGreen management team at the opening of the 48th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.

The departure of the Element from conventional recreational vehicles begins from the ground up, according to a press release. The Element frame is a highly engineered automotive-style chassis designed to be lightweight and extremely durable.

The AFT (Advanced Fulcrum Tracking) axle system provides balanced stability and true tracking on the road. This is possible through the use of lightweight composites and aluminum to reduce the tongue weight.

The durable, lightweight frame is engineered from automotive, High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) steel that yields the highest strength-to-weight ratio. The frame incorporates little to no welding that can crack or separate. Instead, Element frame components are secured with an intricate system of bolts and interlocking grooves to provide a stronger, lighter weight chassis. All frame components are protected with an automotive quality, electro-coating process that coats 100 percent of the frame to retard rust and corrosion.

The Element of Inspiration—A Fresh New Design

The Element is a fusion of styles between classic American automotive design and the latest in aerodynamic, European-inspired camping trailers. Built to be both environmentally friendly and stylish, the new Element is also built tough with EverGreen’s ComposiTek construction to last a lifetime.

Totally wood free, the Element is ultra resistant to rot, mold or mildew that mark the demise of most RVs. Sustainable composites make the Element eco-friendly and recyclable.

European styled windows are crafted of tinted acrylic to provide energy efficiency and privacy. The interior appointments of the Element are clean, functional and ready for the rigors of today’s most active family. Interior height is 84 inches.

Unitized-Body, ComposiTek Construction

The unitized-body construction of the Element is much like nature’s exoskeleton. Lightweight, all-composite, panelized components fit tightly together and are then fused and fastened to form a one-piece outer perimeter shell that is stronger and more aerodynamic than conventionally built trailers.

All sustainable composite shell materials are impervious to moisture to eliminate rot, mold and mildew inherent with wood products. Durable composites, fiberglass and aluminum are engineered into a unitized body to enhance the strength of the entire unit as a whole.

The seamless ComposiTek floor is vacuum laminated and secured to the chassis to support the walls and roof panels. Seamless, vacuum-bonded components have a heavy gauge welded aluminum frame for added strength.

Aerodynamic and Lightweight for Easy Towing and Improved Performance

Weighing in at an approximate base of 3,300 pounds, the new 24-foot Element series can be towed by today’s mini vans or mid-sized SUVs. The ultra aerodynamic exterior of the Element is designed for improved fuel economy and straight tracking down the road. Advanced Fulcrum Tracking is designed to reduce sway while towing.

The Element is one of the few travel trailers on the market to meet the 60 square feet “frontal area towing requirements” of the OEM automotive manufacturers. Defined as the total area of the trailer that is exposed to air resistance, the Element does not exceed 60 square feet — thus far exceeding the aerodynamic performance of conventional RVs. Conventional RVs exceed this limitation, significantly reducing the performance of tow vehicles.

Every EverGreen Element product is quality tested with a rigorous 100-point inspection program. The Element is built with the extensive EverGreen Warranty: three-year limited structural and two-year bumper-to-bumper warranty.

To learn more about EverGreen Recreational Vehicles and the new line of Element travel trailers, visit or Write: EverGreen Recreational Vehicles, LLC 10758 County Road 2, Middlebury, IN 46540 Phone: (574) 825-4298 Fax: (57) 825-4299.

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Outlook 2011 to Address RVIA’s PR Successes

November 5, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Outlook breakfast

Outlook breakfast

Attendees at “Outlook 2011: A New Era Begins” on Nov. 30 in Louisville, Ky., will hear a detailed account of how the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) public relations efforts have preserved the image and appeal of RVs despite economic challenges and a rapidly evolving business environment, according to a news release.

In a presentation titled “RVIA Public Relations: A New Era of Possibilities,” RVIA PR Committee Chairman B.J. Thompson and RVIA Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Gary LaBella will discuss the strategies and messages being used to maximize the exposure of RVing in a changing media landscape and highlight some of the high-impact publicity stoking demand for RVs. The two will also look ahead to examine what the RV industry and companies must focus on to achieve long-term growth in a new era of consumer behavior, technological innovation and marketplace revolution.

The PR presentation will also feature a special guest speaker. NFL great Terry Bradshaw, appearing courtesy of the major sponsorship of EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC, will tap into his contagious enthusiasm to share remarks on his personal game plan for success. Bradshaw, whose affiliation with Evergreen’s line of eco-friendly trailers was announced earlier this year, will also provide his thoughts on the RV industry.

Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw

“Outlook 2011: A New Era Begins” will provide an energizing start to RVIA’s 48th Annual National RV Trade Show with a lineup of entertaining and informative presentations. The free event will begin at 7 a.m. with a complimentary sit-down breakfast in the KEC South Wing Mezzanine Ballroom. Attendees are encouraged to come early as lines form well before the doors open.

The event will be hosted by RVIA Chairman Gregg Fore and feature “Forging Our Future” with Richard Coon sharing his thoughts on the important trends impacting the RV market and how RVIA is working to forge a bright future for the industry.

In “Go RVing: Inspiration for a New Era,” Go RVing co-chairmen Bob Olson and Tom Stinnett join LaBella to introduce the new Go RVing Leads Plus program, report on the impact of the Ambassadors of Affordability campaign, and unveil new plans for 2011.

The Outlook 2011 program and breakfast are free for attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. All Louisville show attendees are welcome, and no reservations necessary. Show badge registration will be available in the South Wing Lobby Entrance.

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EverGreen RV Intros New ‘Campfire Kitchenette’

October 27, 2010 by · Comments Off on EverGreen RV Intros New ‘Campfire Kitchenette’ 

EverGreen's new outdoor kitchen

EverGreen's new outdoor kitchen

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC has added a well-appointed outdoor kitchen to its growing line of environmentally friendly Ever-Lite travel trailers.

Built with sustainable composites, stainless steel and aluminum, the new “Campfire Kitchenette” is crafted with EverGreen’s virtually wood-free ComposiTek construction to eradicate rot, mold and mildew for a lifetime of service, according to a news release.

The unique outdoor kitchen is standard on the following four, family-oriented models for 2012: 34BHK-DS, Bunk House Kitchenette-Deep Slide; 31RBK, Rear Bath Kitchenette; 33QBK, Quad Bunk Kitchenette; 32RBK-DS, Rear Bath Kitchenette-Deep Slide.

The Campfire Kitchenette includes refrigerator, two-burner slideout cook top, stainless steel sink, retractable goose neck faucet, liquid soap dispenser and plenty of polished hooks for towels, oven mitts and cooking utensils. It also includes a polished aluminum spice/condiment rack, 110V-GFI power outlet, stainless steel cabinets with positive latches and stainless steel drawers with commercial slides.

As Doug Lantz, president of EverGreen, states, “Like the rest of our products, these outdoor kitchens are built tough to endure years of spills, heat, weather and outdoor wear and tear. We’ve eliminated wood and other conventional materials found in lesser brands and upgraded the entire kitchen with materials found only in commercial kitchens. Like the rest of our ComposiTek construction, this kitchen will stay in service decades longer.”

In keeping with the EverGreen promise of eco-friendly camping, the Campfire Kitchenette is built with sustainable materials to be as durable as it is beautiful. It features stainless steel and aluminum doors, drawers and trim, laminate countertop and composite materials to resist rot, mold and mildew, and a one-piece ComposiTek door to protect the contents down the road. These materials are waterproof, easy to clean, and will look great for years to come.

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EverGreen RV Holds Open House Sept. 27-30

September 24, 2010 by · Comments Off on EverGreen RV Holds Open House Sept. 27-30 

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC will sponsor a Dealer Open House Monday through Thursday (Sept. 27-30) at its manufacturing headquarters in Middlebury, Ind.

The open house will feature the latest Ever-Lite travel trailers and fifth-wheels, new floorplans, factory tours of its certified “green” facility and free gifts for all attendees.

For more information, call (574) 825-4298 or visit

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NFL’s Bradshaw’s Endorsing EverGreen’s RVs

July 14, 2010 by · Comments Off on NFL’s Bradshaw’s Endorsing EverGreen’s RVs 

Terry Bradshaw, four-time Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame quarterback and legendary sports broadcaster,  will be endorsing products made by EverGreen Recreation Vehicles LLC and will be at the Middlebury, Ind., RV firm on Thursday (July 15) to take possesison of his first Ever-Lite fifth-wheel.

Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw

Bradshaw will conduct a brief question and answer session after the ceremony.

Among U.S. consumers, Bradshaw is one of pro football’s most popular retired players. As of September 2007, Bradshaw was the top-ranked former pro football player in the Davie-Brown Index (DBI), which surveys consumers to determine a celebrity’s appeal and trust levels.

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EverGreen RV Touts Its Eco-Friendly Trailers

July 1, 2010 by · Comments Off on EverGreen RV Touts Its Eco-Friendly Trailers 

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC has announced its E2 (Economical and Eco-friendly) Initiative with the introduction of exclusive product enhancements across its full line of all composite travel trailers and fifth-wheels.

The E2 Initiative furthers the company’s commitment to eco-friendly innovation, while providing cost-saving product features making its Ever-Lite brand more affordable to own and operate, according to a news release. The new industry leading green enhancements on the 2011 Ever-Lite campers save owners money and are good for the environment.

“Our new E2 Initiative illustrates how being greener can also be leaner,” said Doug Lantz, president. “From our ComposiTek construction process that produces a 20% lighter, more fuel-efficient trailer that will last a lifetime, to our new bead balanced, nitrogen filled tires that will last longer, vibrate less and track straighter resulting in long term fuel and maintenance costs savings. The ongoing EverGreen E2 Initiative doubles our commitment to provide our customers with the most eco-friendly, best value in the industry.”

Here are some of the items EverGreen Recreation Vehicles has included in its E2 Initiative:

  • ComposiTek construction makes Ever-Lite trailers 20% or 1,000 to 1,200 pounds lighter than conventionally built RVs with no reduction in essential equipment and luxury. By eliminating wood in the outside walls, roof and floor, ComposiTek construction is impervious to water to never rot, mold or mildew. ComposiTek is three to four times stronger than wood to be far more durable, flex less and last longer.
  • Eco-friendly composites replace wood. By using ComposiTek construction, EverGreen eliminates 50 sheets of lauan from each trailer it builds. Lauan is a hardwood veneer made from old growth tropical rain forests. Composites make Ever-Lite campers lightweight so they can be towed by smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. ComposiTek materials are fully recyclable.
  • ComposiTek has no out gassing of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde making the air inside an Ever-Lite healthier for families.

Here are some economical and eco-friendly enhancements EverGreen Recreational Vehicles has planned for 2011:

  • Eco-Batt Insulation. Used only in the front cap area of every Ever-Lite, Eco-Batt is a sustainable and environmentally responsible insulation. Eco-Batt combines one of the earth’s most abundant and renewable resources, sand, with a minimum of 35% post-consumer recycled glass. It contains no phenol, formaldehyde, acrylics or artificial colors used in traditional fiberglass insulation.
  • Nitrogen-inflated tires. Every Ever-Lite trailer is equipped with nitrogen-filled tires. Nitrogen-inflated tires last longer, reduce tire failures and increase tread life by 25% to 30%. Nitrogen-inflated tires keep air pressure at optimum levels longer which improves fuel efficiency and safety.
  • Bead balanced tires. The benefits of self-balancing tires are a smoother ride, better mileage and less maintenance. EverGreen offers the latest in bead balancing using super micro-beads inside the tires. The beads automatically flow to correct the balance in the tire at all times. The beads do not wear out and need no maintenance.
  • LED exterior lighting. Standard equipment on every Ever-Lite, LED exterior lighting is brighter to improve safety, longer lasting, maintenance free and uses a fraction of the energy.
  • Beauflor durable flooring. The padded Beauflor in an Ever-Lite is as durable as it is comfortable. Beauflor brand padded vinyl flooring will not permanently indent, rip, tear or gouge. It is colorfast to never permanently stain, discolor or fade. A favorite with EverGreen owners in Canada, Beauflor can handle extreme temperature highs and lows without cracking.
  • Eco-friendly recycled mattresses. Ever-Lite campers are equipped with queen- sized, pillow-top mattresses made from recycled plastic bottles. Campers enjoy a comfortable mattress and rest easier keeping plastic bottles out of landfills.
  • EverGreen Recreational Vehicles is the only Emerald Green Certified manufacturer of travel trailers and fifth-wheels.

To learn more about EverGreen Recreational Vehicles and the new line of Ever-Lite travel trailers, call 574.825.4298 or visit

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EverGreen RV LLC Displays Ever-Lite Fifth-Wheel

December 10, 2009 by · Comments Off on EverGreen RV LLC Displays Ever-Lite Fifth-Wheel 

EverGreen's Ever-Lite 5th wheelEverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC, Middlebury, Ind., has introduced its first all-composite Ever-Lite fifth-wheel. Available in three 31- to 32-foot floorplans featuring a 42-inch-deep streetside slideout, EverGreen introduced the Ever-Lite at last week’s 47th Annual National RV Show. Like its towable brethren, the Ever-Lite fifth-wheel incorporates several ”green” advancements, including EverGreen’s ”ComposiTek” construction that results in one-piece floors, sidewalls and roofs. At a maximum dry weight of 7,670 pounds, Evergreen’s management maintains, the Ever-Lite fiver is as much as 1,000 pounds lighter than a traditional fifth-wheel. Features include high-gloss exterior, flush-frame tinted windows, enclosed and heated underbellies, pass-through storage, porcelain toilets, laundry chutes, solid-wood cabinet doors, crown molding, padded vinyl floors and 26-inch LCD TV. MSRP: $41,000.

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EverGreen’s Unique Fiver Going to Louisville

November 25, 2009 by · Comments Off on EverGreen’s Unique Fiver Going to Louisville 

Ever_Green_5th_w_11_03_09_ext_productEverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC will show its new 30-foot, all-composite, eco-friendly fifth-wheel trailer at the 47th Annual National RV Trade Show Dec. 1-3 in Louisville, Ky.  EverGreen uses composite materials, known as ComposiTek construction, with floor, walls and roof that are wood-free, creating a longer lasting, stronger, lighter weight product that is easier to tow and more fuel-efficient, according to a news release.  The 30-foot trailer features a rear living room floorplan and weighs less than 7,500 pounds fully equipped. Other features include a 42-inch deep, gear-driven slideout system, large pass-through basement storage, optional on-demand tankless water heater, flush-frame, oversized deep tint windows, standard Maxxair vent and power fan and a highly polished “tuff-gloss” exterior.

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Michigan Dealer Adds EverGreen Travel Trailers

October 1, 2009 by · Comments Off on Michigan Dealer Adds EverGreen Travel Trailers 

 EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC. , Middlebury, Ind., has announced that Terrytown Travel Center has added the eco-friendly, all-evergreencomposite Ever-Lite travel trailers to its line of recreational vehicles at its Grand Rapids, Mich., dealership

“From the first time we saw an EverGreen Ever-Lite travel tailer we were excited to introduce it to Michigan,” stated Matt Kortman, Terry Town sales manager. “The look and story behind the Ever-Lite is like nothing else in the industry. Our customers love these trailers because they are so well-built, have a green story and they are lightweight without sacrificing size, features or livability” 

EverGreen entered the market as a startup 10 months ago and has revolutionized the industry with its eco-friendly Ever-Lite travel trailers. These lightweight, recyclable trailers are the first to use all sustainable ComposiTek construction in the floors, walls and roofs to drastically reduce out-gassing of formaldehyde.

ComposiTek construction makes Ever-Lite railers 20% or 1,000 to 1,200 pounds lighter than conventionally built RVs without reducing essential equipment and luxury like other brands. Standard features include power awnings, large queen pillow-top mattresses made from recycled material, high output power fans in the bedr0om, convection/microwave ovens and black tank flushes not available on other ultra -light products.

EverGreen eliminated 50 sheets of Lauan, a hardwood veneer made from old growth trees from tropical rain forests, from each trailer it builds. With virtually no wood in the box construction, the Ever-Lite travel trailers nearly eliminate harmful VOC out-gassing. Plus the composites are impervious to water and cannot rot, mold, mildew or dry rot. To further help the environment, for every unit sold to the public, EverGreen plants a tree in the customer’s name.

“We are proud to partner with Terrytown Camping Center,” said Kevin C. Slater, EveGreen vice president of sales. ”They have been successful in the RV business for over 36 years and understand how to present and market these trailers.  The team at Terrytown are true professionals, they really get it. I know we will do very well together.

“With our commitment to changing the industry by utilizing higher quality eco-friendly materials, we’re still focused on servicing our dealer partners with EverGreen quality, value and security. We are very pleased to have Terrytown Travel Center carrying the Ever-Lite. These are exciting times as ‘greener,’  lighter weight, more fuel-efficient products become available across the country,” concluded President of Evergreen, Doug Lantz.

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Update: EverGreen RV LLC Delivers 1st RV

April 21, 2009 by · Comments Off on Update: EverGreen RV LLC Delivers 1st RV 


 Doug Lantz, left, president of Middlebury, Ind.-based EverGreen  Recreational Vehicles LLC, and Kevin Slater, right, vice president of  sales and marketing, deliver the company’s first Ever-Lite travel  trailer to James Bradley of Summit RV of Ashland, Ky. They  delivered the unit on April 16.  The trailers are the first all  composite-construction, lightweight, formaldehyde-free, recyclable  travel trailers ever produced.

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