Smith Center, Kan.-based Peterson Industries Inc., manufacturer of the Excel luxury fifth-wheel brand, will be offering the Rhino Eco-Coat roof system on all Winslow and Wild Cargo model units. According to a press release, Peterson is the first OEM to use the new system from Rhino Linings Inc.
Peterson said Rhino Eco-Coat system is virtually problem free and offers many benefits, including:
• Maintenance free.
• 100% seamless.
• Energy efficient – reflects sun UV rays, reducing temperatures up to 20 degrees.
• Fire retardant system meets UL 790.
• Can be easily patched when new equipment is added to the roof.
• Not easily damaged like EPDM and TPO roofing material.
• 2-year product and application warranty.
“This new roof system provides the same toughness you’ve grown to know with your Rhino truck bed linings with the added benefit of UV protectant for greater reflectivity,” stated Bryan Tillett, president of Peterson Industries. “We are extremely excited to be in partnership with Rhino Linings and be the first manufacturer ever to offer this superior roof system on an RV.”
In addition to new units, Peterson is offering Rhino Eco-Coat roofs for existing RVs, regardless of brand or type, along with livestock trailers and cargo or utility trailers.
Peterson Industries Inc. announced the addition of Michigan-based Holland Motor Homes to its national dealer body, carrying the Smith Center, Kan.-based manufacturer’s luxury lineup of Excel fifth-wheels.
According to a press release, Peterson continues to diversify and enlarge its market area and Holland Motor Homes offered proven expertise in selling high-end fifth-wheels.
Peterson also noted that Holland Motor Homes, founded in 1970, shares its philosophy of “treating others as you would like to be treated.”
The Excel brand includes the Limited, Winslow and Wild Cargo lines. For more information visit http://www.excelrvs.com/.
After signing with Peterson Industries at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., in December, Carefree Coach sent four representatives to Peterson’s headquarters in Smith Center, Kan., for two days of factory training, according to a news release.
Carefree will be representing the full line of Excel fifth-wheels, including Limited Edition and the all-new Winslow. Product is being received in time for Edmonton’s biggest retail RV show at Northlands Agricom Center, Feb. 11-15 in Edmonton.
People still want to have toys, even in a rough economy.
Those pearls of wisdom are from Kathy Chowning, an owner-operator at RV Sales in Moriarty, N. M., which has sold more Excel fifth-wheels than any other dealer in the nation since 2001. Her parents started an RV business in 1967 and Chowning began her own company in this city east of Albuquerque in 1982, according to the Mountain View Telegraph.
“We have a strong customer base,” she said. “When they want something they come back to us”
She also pointed out that KOA campgrounds, national parks and the like were booming this summer. Last summer, when gas prices were far higher, there was less traffic at these sites, she said.
“It’s important to America to go out and see America and take your home with you,” she said. “It’s real hard for people to give up their toys.”
Even still, Chowning hasn’t sailed through the recession without any trouble. It used to be that the RV industry took “the cream of the crop when it came to doing loans.” That meant financing with good interest rates.
Now that source for loans has virtually dried up and credit unions have stepped in. Loans are anywhere from 7% to 14%, depending on the amount borrowed, but she said she had one come in at just under 4%.
Still, it’s a diminished market due in part to the reluctance of creditors to lend money, Chowning said.
“We’re all trying to get a little bit of a share of what is out there and is available,” she said. “All of us need to remain positive.”
Chowning called the pattern of recession a vicious cycle, one that’s hard to get out of when businesses are overly cautious.
“If we all wait around to see what the economy does, then the economy will do nothing,” she said. “You’ve got to keep it going to get it going and you’ve got to get it going to keep it going.”
Jill DeTemple, an assistant at RV Sales, said the company has seen a lot of first-time buyers, people who come in with nothing to trade in. She added that business picked up in the spring. DeTemple has been with the company for five years and called it an “honest, fair, family business.”
The company also holds a community event each Halloween, the annual Trailer-to-Trailer Fall Costume and Candy Festival.
The company collects donations from local businesses and from attendees to pay for the cost of putting on the event, which allows kids to trick-or-treat in the safety of the RV park. There is often a haunted house on the back of a semi-truck near the circle of trailers. It also collects canned goods or donations for the Bethel Storehouse.
That money is often used for holiday goodies for less fortunate families, she pointed out.
“It fills (Bethel’s) coffers right before Thanksgiving,” she said.
Usually the Chownings break even on their own costs, but last year they came about $1,000 short of the more than $4,000 they spent on the event. Chowning said she’s sending out “feelers” early on this year to make sure that they don’t end up in the red again.
If there is not enough support, she said they may end up revamping the way they do the annual event, now going on its 16th year running.
“I think I’m in panic mode,” she said. “We’re asking the community to back us up on this. We can’t lose money on things like this.”