Redwood RV Introduces Blackwood Fifth-Wheel

November 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Redwood RV's new Blackwood fifth-wheel

Redwood RV will introduce the Blackwood fifth-wheel line this year at the Nov. 29-Dec. 1 National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.

“The team at Redwood is excited to be expanding our product offering,” said Paul Craven, product manager for Syracuse, Ind.-based Redwood. “With a strong demand from our current dealer base, we are taking the successful components of the Redwood story to the Blackwood fifth-wheel. Large territories, zoned freight, level pricing and MSRP advertising will be the cornerstone of this product.

“Our business philosophy is simple – the dealer is our customer and we’re developing products and programs to ensure their success and profitability.”

Blackwood models range from 31 to 39 feet in length and are initially available in four floorplans, including a bunkhouse model. Starting MSRP is around $60,000 nicely appointed.

“From a product standpoint, Blackwood leads the industry in fit and finish, and innovation,” said Tom Montague, general manager. “Highlighted by the most open user-friendly master bedroom in the industry, Blackwood offers the experienced RV buyer a coach that’s sure to exceed all expectations. From recreational users to weekenders, Blackwood is setting the new standard for excellence.”


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CrossRoads’ Sunset Trail to Debut in Louisville

November 18, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Sunset Trail fifth-wheel by CrossRoads

Topeka, Ind.-based CrossRoads RV Inc. has “redefined the lightweight fifth-wheel market” with its Sunset Trail line featuring an innovative front cap slide-out system, according to a press release.

The new Sunset Trail offers floorplans starting at 25 feet in length and around 7,500 pounds “true weight” with full-depth slideouts. Other standard features include:

• Front cap slideout with patent pending Bi-lateral Operating Slideout System (B.O.S.S.).

• Barreled ceilings in a fifth-wheel with 8 feet 3 inches of interior height.

• Aerodynamic front cap with LED strip lighting.

• 90-degree turning radius.

• 33% larger windows with automotive trim seal.

• Residential interiors with solid-surface countertops.

Product Manager John Fisher noted, “We have made large strides in the lightweight towable market and will keep this momentum going in 2012. As we introduce our new Sunset Trail fifth-wheel line, we are excited to see the dealer response to the B.O.S.S. front cap slide system technology which provides more livable space and a roomier interior without the ‘feel’ of towing a larger, heavy unit.”

The Sunset Trail fifth-wheel will make its debut at the Nov. 29-Dec. 1 49th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky. CrossRoads will display product in Booth No. 1001 in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC).



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Yellowstone Debuts Fiver for Short-bed Trucks

August 5, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Yellowstone's SB-1500 series Canyon Trail fifth-wheel

Nappanee. Ind.-based Yellowstone RV has introduced the SB-1500 series in its Canyon Trail fifth-wheel lineup that tows, turns and maneuvers perfectly when hitched to today’s extra short-bed pickup trucks – without the need for an expensive slider hitch.

According to a press release, the Canyon Trail XLT SB-1500 offers three highly functional floorplans that use a specially designed front end for excellent turning clearance with pickup truck cargo beds as short as 5½ feet.

Yellowstone said that while the new breed of Crew Cab pickups feature luxurious passenger space, the shorter dimensions of their beds make simple fifth-wheel maneuvers and turns impossible. That’s where the SB-1500 series fits in, with “dimensions and geometry that take the shorter turning radius and restricted clearance of the extra short bed trucks into account.”

The company added that “there’s no shortage of luxury in the SB-1500s.” Like all Canyon Trail fifth-wheels, the new series features premium furnishings, residential-style kitchens, multiple slideouts, state-of-the-art entertainment options, generous lighting and enormous storage spaces. Designs and specifications have been refined with the input of seasoned RVers for easy carefree camping.

Canyon Trail also features the Extreme Weather Protection Package, an advanced combination of foam, fiberglass, urethane, radiant film technology, ventilation and vapor control, providing R38 values in the ceiling, R32 in the floor, and R14 in all four walls. A fully enclosed and heated basement and R38 insulated holding tank compartment contribute to the true four-season capabilities of the Canyon Trail.

The new Aztec Luxury Edition Package, available on all Canyon Trail products including the SB-1500 models, adds a group of sophisticated appearance and performance enhancements particularly popular with Canyon Trail customers.

For more information on Yellowstone RV and its Ridgeway and Canyon Trail fifth-wheels and travel trailers, contact National Sales Manager Mike Spencer at 574-773-7761, ext.5158, or visit


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HGTV RV Program Examines Fifth-Wheel Trailers

May 25, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Today’s featured video looks at HGTV’s installment on fifth-wheel trailers. This video is part of RV 2010 show hosted by Chi-Lan Lieu .

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Carriage to Debut Luxury Fiver at June Show

May 3, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Carriage Inc. logoHigh-end fifth-wheel manufacturer Carriage Inc. will introduce a new entry-level fiver during its 2011 New Product Show June 21-24 at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.

But Carriage President and CEO Don Emahiser says it won’t be a big departure from what the Millersburg, Ind., firm has done for years.

”It’s still going to be a luxury fifth-wheel, but it won’t have all the amenities that we have for our ‘resort’ vehicles,” Emahiser said.

Emahiser said the new unit, yet to be named, is designed to appeal more to the weekend and vacation RVer than to the full-timer for whom other Carriage products are designed.

It’s going to allow us to get to the retail customer one generation sooner,” Emahiser said.

The new fifth-wheel becomes Carriage’s least expensive RV behind Cameo, which will still be built. The new unit will retail in the $40,000 to $50,000 range.

Other Carriage products include the Carri-Lite, Domani and top-of-the-line Royals International, the price of which was greatly reduced for the 2010 model year.

”We’ll have two prototype floorplans at our dealer show and six by the Louisville trade show,” Emahiser said. ”We will have improvements in our other lines, but nothing earth-shattering because nothing is broken.”

Between 50 and 60 of Carriage’s approximately 100 dealers are expected to attend the show, which includes a welcoming cocktail party, business meeting, one-on-one sit-downs with regional sales managers and golf at the Dallas Cowboys Golf Club.

Emahiser said it appears the market is improving as the nation recovers from the Great Recession. “Dealers are adding inventory, which is good, and they are selling stuff so they are cautiously optimistic,” Emahiser said.

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Carriage Inc. Names Emahiser New CEO/President

September 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 


Don Emahiser

Don Emahiser

Carriage Inc. has promoted Don Emahiser to CEO and president of its entire corporate operations, Glenn Cushman, chairman, announced this week.

Emahiser was previously the Millersburg, Ind.-based company’s vice president of sales and marketing and has been with Carriage for the past five years. Prior to that, the RV industry veteran served in upper management at Starcraft Corp. for many years.

While in charge of sales for Carriage, Emahiser helped increase the number of dealers by 25% and doubled sales within his first two years, according to a news release. Other accomplishments included growing market share to 40% of the high-end fifth-wheel market and taking the company’s Cameo product from a small market share to the 16th best selling fifth-wheel in North America. Emahiser has also helped create a new marketing brand campaign for Carriage’s 2010 model year product.

Carriage will continue to innovate and expand its product offerings and market dominance in the high-end fifth-wheel marketplace with Emahiser at the wheel, Cushman said, noting that Emahiser’s new “Resort Vehicles” mantra represents a fresh commitment to Carriage’s luxury fifth-wheel buyer.

“We’re thrilled with Don’s performance, leadership and ideas,” said Cushman. “New and exciting innovations are in store for the future – we are very optimistic – and Don is the right man for the times.”

Cushman will continue his role as chairman of Carriage Inc. Carriage is the sixth largest fifth-wheel manufacturer in the RV industry. The company has been providing quality, high-end towables for over 40 years. Current product brands include Cameo, Carri-Lite and Royals International.

Carriage is a privately held company and has employed around 400 workers in Elkhart County.

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Former Western RV Workers Sue Company

June 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Former managers and employees of Western Recreational Vehicles Inc. in Union Gap, Wash., have filed suit in federal court for reimbursement of unpaid benefits and damages.

The complaint, filed Tuesday (June 2) in U.S. District Court in Yakima, alleges the company failed to pay accrued vacation and provide the required 60-day notice when it ceased operations in April 2008, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic.

The high-end motorhome manufacturer laid off about 220 workers when it shut down production at its plant in Union Gap.

The lawsuit names 26 former salaried and hourly workers as plaintiffs. In addition to the unpaid vacation, former employees claim Western RV withheld the cost of medical and dental premiums from their paychecks after canceling health coverage without notifying employees.

“As a result, plaintiffs have incurred damages consisting of medical and dental expenses and wages due in an amount to be proven at trial,” the complaint said.

Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), employers are required to provide 60-day notice before shutting down an employment site or one or more facilities that results in job losses for 50 or more employees.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit are Western Recreational Vehicles and Philip Von Burg, listed as vice president of the firm when the firm closed its doors.

The suit does not specify a damage amount.

Yakima attorney Wade Gano, who is representing the former employees, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Western RV had operated in Yakima since 1971, manufacturing motorhomes, fifth-wheel trailers and campers. The founders of the company, Bill and Suzanne Doyle, sold the company to an equity firm, Monomoy Capital Partners of New York City, in 2006.

The firm was operating in Union Gap when it closed, citing a declining market for its products, some of which carried price tags of $500,000.

Western RV tried unsuccessfully to merge with an Indiana RV manufacturer prior to its closure.

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Stat Surveys Inc.: March Towable Registrations Down

May 20, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Towable RV registrations were down predictably in Statistical Surveys Inc.’s March retail registration report released today (May 20) by the Grand Rapids, Mich., firm.

Travel trailer and fifth-wheel registrations for the month totaled 10,411, compared to 16,997 in March 2008, a decline of 38.7%.

Retail registration totals by segment:

  • Travel trailers: 7,239 compared to 11,599 in March of 2008.
Fifth-wheels: 3,172 vs. 5,398 last March.
  • Camping trailers: 983, down from 1,616 last year.
  • Recreational park trailers: 135, off from 298 in ’08.

Thor Industries Inc. expanded its hold on the travel trailer market with a 30.8% share in March and 29.3% for the first quarter, more than double its closest competitor, Jayco Inc.

Thor had an even greater lead in the fifth-wheel market with a 40.6% market share in March and 39.7% share for the first quarter. Forest River Inc. was a distant second with a 12% and 13.6% share for March and the quarter, respectively.

FTCA Inc.’s Coleman camping trailer was the top selling folding camping trailer  manufacturer with a 33.8% market share in March and 34.1% share for the quarter. Jayco was second at 26.6% for March 25.4% for the quarter.

In the recreational park trailer segment, Thor and Skyline Corp. were in a dead heat for the quarter, each with a 16.1% market share with Chariot Eagle a close third with 13.5%. For March, Thor was tops with 19.3% market share, followed by Skyline with 16.3% and Chariot Eagle with 17%.

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