Forest River Inc. has contracted with California-based McMahon’s RV to sell the builder’s new Trilogy luxury fifth-wheel.
According to a press release, the 42-foot Trilogy offers a roomy interior with three sildeouts and 6-foot, 7-inch ceilings. Other amenities include a 40-inch HD TV in the living room, a 32-inch HD TV in the bedroom, Frigidaire stainless steel refrigerator, solid-surface countertops and an on-board floor vacuum.
“The Trilogy is a great RV addition to our already wide selection of fifth-wheels,” said Brent McMahon, president of McMahon’s RV. “We know our customers, and this fifth-wheel is something they will want for sure.”
McMahon’s RV is a division of MegaRV Corp. and has been serving Southern California since 2000. The dealership recently expanded into Arizona. For more information visit www.mcmahonrv.com.
Tom Johnson Camping Center today announced it will be carrying Forest River’s Inc.’s line of handicap-accessible V-Cross travel trailers.
“We are very excited to add the V-Cross handicap model to our extensive line of recreational vehicles,” said Gary Stroud, vice president of Tom Johnson Camping Center, in a press release. “It is rewarding for us to be able to open RV travel to individuals who the past have missed out on the RV lifestyle.”
The V-Cross handicap-access model is built with wider entry doors and hallways, handicap-accessible bathroom features, large bedroom areas with grab handles, wiring for lift system, available remote controls for slideouts, power jacks and awnings and modifications to the kitchen areas. The V-Cross also has a unique front end that assists in aerodynamics and eases towing.
“While we have been offering access model motorhomes from Winnebago for years, this addition of affordable towable RVs greatly expands our offerings for our customers,” stated Stroud. “As we have increased our support of Shriner’s Hospitals for Children we have continued to grow our customer base of parties interested in these access model RVs.”
Founded in 1967, Tom Johnson Camping Center has locations in Concord and Marion, N.C.
North America’s two largest RV manufacturers, Thor Industries Inc. and Forest River Inc., jointly announced today (Feb. 10) that Elkhart County’s 5th Annual RV Open House Week will be held Sept. 18-20 throughout the northern Indiana RV-building center.
Both companies are planning to locate their product displays in the same locations as last year’s Open House, which drew more than 3,000 U.S. and Canadian dealer personnel to the streets, factories and open roadside lots of area Hoosier communities like Elkhart, Middlebury, Wakarusa and Shipshewana.
Thor’s six RV-building divisions are to be located on the grounds of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, while Forest River’s varied business units will be positioned in and around the grounds of Forest River’s Dynamax facility on C.R. 6 – about a mile apart from each other. Again this year, shuttle buses will ferry dealers back and forth between the two larger displays.
Having said that, the management teams of both companies apparently are looking for another good year of Open House festivities, a rare combination of serious business and social time that tends to cultivate sales as well as build relationships between dealers and manufacturers for the year ahead.
“For this year, we’re looking for more of the same – if not bigger,” says Bob Martin, the former Keystone RV president recently named president of Thor’s RV Group, headquartered in Jackson Center, Ohio. “Based on dealer reaction at Louisville, dealers that weren’t able to make the Open House last year had commented that this year they definitely would make it to the Open House. For us, it’s a great opportunity. We can simply show more product (versus a typical convention) and it’s a little bit more laid back atmosphere.”
Jeff Babcock, general manager for Elkhart-based Forest River, also sees some changes in the works with regard to a “tighter” layout for this year’s exhibitors that should make it easier for some of Forest River’s and Thor’s competitors to “set up camp” in more amenable locations. This would answer one of the chief drawbacks to the Open House for some of the exhibiting companies, who want better and more accessible locations.
“I think that this year is going to be even better than last year,” adds Babcock. “This thing’s taken on a life of its own. I think we’re going to have more participation from other manufacturers outside Indiana and Michigan. They’re going to come in. I know that I’ve talked to a land developer who plans on leasing out over a hundred acres and he thinks he can fill up that acreage.
“I mean, I think this thing’s going to be bigger than it ever has been before, but that just follows suit from the last four years,” he noted. “Every year this goes on, it just gets bigger and bigger, and we’re expecting this year’s Open House to be our best year yet.”
Marshall, Mich.-based supplier Progressive Dynamics Inc. announced that Palomino RV, a division of Forest River Inc., is equipping its Columbus fifth-wheels with the 4560 all-in-one panel converter.
According to a press release, Forest River’s Wolf Pack division will be using Progressive Dynamic’s 4590 series converter in its upcoming Vengeance line of toy haulers.
The 4560 and 4590 all-in-one panel converters offer an AC/DC distribution panel and Inteli-Power Converter with the patented “Charge Wizard Battery Conditioning” technology in one space-saving system. Other features of include easily accessible reverse battery protection and automatic thermal protection.
Progressive Dynamics, established in 1964, produces electronic power converters, intelligent battery charging systems, distribution panels, automatic transfer switches, panel converters and replacement converter sections. The company also offers a series of intelligent battery charging systems for the marine industry.
For more information, visit www.progressivedyn.com.
Beyond all the sales pitches and brochures, it was obvious to most attendees at the 49th Annual National RV Trade Show, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Louisville, Ky., which new 2012 recreational vehicle had created the most “buzz” at the show: The Aviator by Forest River Inc., a modern-looking 34-foot travel trailer that should score a lot of style and feature points among today’s younger buyers.
Based on those style points, as well as some clever new high-tech twists integrated into this innovative new towable, RVBusiness’s staff is naming Forest River’s Aviator as “Best of Show” for model year 2012.
As such, the Aviator, along with an array of other products — from Fleetwood’s all-new 33-foot Excursion Class A to Thor Motor Coach’s elegant new 34-foot Palazzo Class A and Jayco’s trendy Seismic fifth-wheel toyhauler — will be featured nationally as one of “RVB’s Top 25 Debuts.”
“We wanted to bring to market a luxury travel trailer that would stand the test of time,” says Kevin McCart, general manager of Forest River’s Surveyor and R-pod product lines as well as the new Aviator division. “There were criteria that we used in development. Not only is it built with composite materials and Celtec cabinetry, we wanted something that would be wood-free. We wanted it to be customer-friendly, and we wanted it to have a distinguishable look that would be unprecedented in the industry.”
Developed by a small team over the past year and a half in a secluded plant at the company’s Goshen, Ind., facilities, the Aviator, designed to resemble an aircraft fuselage, features crowned contoured sidewalls, a one-piece radius fiberglass roof, curved interior ceilings, bonded tinted safety glass windows and a truly wind-cutting, aerodynamic front cap fitted with an integrated “windshield.”
LED-lit interiors include two 32-inch Sony LED HDTV’s – a third is stationed in the outside entertainment center – and are equipped with stainless steel appliances, including 8-cubic-foot Dometic reefers, 1.7-cubic-foot Frigidaire convection microwave ovens and 3-burner Atwood sealed-burner cooktops.
Now here’s where the plot thickens because each unit, retailing in the upper $70,000’s, comes with a Sony tablet computer replacing the remote control devices ordinarily used to operate a unit’s electronics. Aside from controlling the fireplace and TV’s, the tablet provides the RV owner with an interactive guide to how-to videos, tutorials, owners manuals, care and maintenance guides – anything that the customer’s going to need to know about that unit.
“We even programmed in the make and model and serial number of every appliance that’s in that unit – down to the 110 and 12-volt side of the converter – everything is labeled with amp and fuse sizes,” says McCart.
And that same tablet, as part of the Aviator’s “Mobile Onboard Smart Technology (MOST) system, can also stream movies to the unit’s three flat-screen TV’s.
“This is an industry first, and I think this is where it’s heading, or at least I hope it is,” says McCart. “We want to provide the customer with as much information as possible so that they’re not having to rely on the dealer or the manufacturer to answer all their questions to find out how things work. We’ll provide videos on how to light your water heater or how to maintain different things as well as trouble shooting videos.”
McCart, by the end of the Louisville Show, was already thinking warmly of this winter’s retail shows. “We already have shows lined up where we need to get this product into,” adds McCart. “So, we’re going to start off the new year with a bang.”
Forest River Inc. has hired industry veteran Larry Meredith to oversee sales in the West Coast region for its Cardinal and Blue Ridge fifth-wheel division.
The Elkhart, Ind.-based company said in a press release that Meredith would be charged with “rebuilding and developing” the fifth-wheel lines.
Meredith joins Forest River with 35-plus years of RV sales and management experience. “We are excited to use his experience to develop Cardinal and Blue Ridge fifth-wheels on the West Coast and bring it back to the prominence it once had,” the release stated.
For additional information contact National Sales Manager Jay Cavitt at 574-389-3227 or Larry Meredith, West Coast sales, at 909-335-8337.
Forest River Inc. will introduce the luxury Aviator travel trailer at the Nov. 29-Dec. 1 National RV Trade Show, representing “a culmination of new concepts and design ideas,” according to a press release.
“When we sat down to design the Aviator over a year and a half ago, we wanted to bring to market a luxury travel trailer that would revolutionize this industry. Low maintenance, customer friendliness and a unique look were the criteria we used in developing this product,” says Kevin McArt, general manager for the new Aviator.
Features in the Aviator include an aerodynamic front cap with integrated windshield, contoured composite sidewalls and a maintenance-free fiberglass roof. Elkhart, Ind.-based Forest River also noted that the construction of the Aviator is wood-free.
“Not only is the absence of wood material a strong environmental commitment, but the implementation of aluminum and composite materials add higher strength tolerances and are impermeable to moisture,” said McArt.
Aviator is also the first RV unit in any segment to introduce Smart Technology. The base of the system is an incredibly powerful Sony tablet computer. “We’ve assembled a system of familiar components that when combined together deliver unparalleled access to information, entertainment and ease-of-use for our customers,” said Cody Schade, regional sales manager for the Aviator.
According to Schade, Mobile Onboard Smart Technology (MOST) allows customers to share a direct service link not only with the dealer network but also with Forest River. It provides a personal, interactive guide including how-to videos and tutorials, troubleshooting, and any question a customer may encounter on set-up, appliances, or other features.
“The result,” the Aviator team states, “is a more confident and educated customer, which results in fewer service situations and less maintenance at the dealer level.”
For additional information contact Regional Sales Manager Matt Maday at (574) 642-3119, ext. 215, email@example.com, or Cody Schade, at (574) 642-3119, ext. 273, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elkhart, Ind.-based Forest River Inc. announced today (Nov. 17) that Lawton Tinley will be the new general manager of the company’s Work and Play division.
According to a press release, Tinley brings “a wealth of knowledge, operational and sales experience, customer relations, team building skills and energy to Work and Play.”
Previously, Tinley served as general manager of Coachmen RV’s Georgia division from 1984 through 2008, which manufactured and sold travel trailers, fifth-wheels and sport utility trailers. The division was not part of Forest River’s asset purchases at the time of acquiring Coachmen RV.
In the release, Forest River stated: “Tinley’s contagious passion and enthusiasm, proven leadership skills and his product knowledge and strong dealer relation skills will undoubtedly add value to Work and Play and its valued dealers.”
According to Forest River Inc. General Manager Jeff Babcock, the company’s new Trilogy fifth-wheel is “the only fifth-wheel on the market with radius walls, windows, entry door and roof” — construction techniques that can be sourced to Forest River’s acquisition of Dynamax Corp. earlier this year. “It utilizes the same radius sidewalls and roof that (Dynamax) has used on its motorized product for 15 years,” said Dewayne Creighton, general manager of the Dynamax division. “The construction is basically the same — just on a fifth-wheel frame — so the work force knows how to build it.” The new unit also comes fully equipped. “The only choices are the bed, refrigerator and color you want,” added Babcock. “Everything else is standard.” Currently available in a 38-foot floorplan with two others in the works, the unit offers 8 feet, 5 inches of headroom in the living room and 6 feet, 7 inches in the upper deck. Interior features include hard cherry raised-panel cabinet doors, solid-surface countertops with mosaic tile on backsplashes, walk-in closet, padded ceiling and Forest River-designed sofa and chairs. Additional features include six-point hydraulic levelers, 97-pound LP-gas capacity (under floor with remote fill) and 250 square feet of basement storage. MSRP is expected to be in the mid- to high $70,000 range.
Forest River Inc. has launched its new Vibe by V-Cross line of lightweight travel trailers. The V-nose trailer was displayed for the first time at the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey and is one of the front-line new 2012 models on display at the sprawling Forest River Inc. exhibit this week during Elkhart County’s 4th Annual RV Open House. The micro-light 6500 series is the smallest unit – able to be towed by smaller SUV’s and minivans – while still featuring up to 70-cubic-feet of exterior storage, queen pillow top mattresses, full bath, convection microwave, flat panel LCD TV, 81-inch interior height, independent torsion suspension and a high gloss gel coat exterior and front cap. Targeting the more traditional sector of the market, the Vibe 800 series offers lengths up to 30 feet with deeper slideouts. Features include walk-around queen beds, multiple entries, along with spacious bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens. Standards include hide-a-bed sofas, cognac maple cabinetry, neo-angle showers with glass doors, enclosed tanks and exterior showers. Both series offer aluminum-framed, laminated construction for lighter weight.