Damon/Four Winds Now Thor Motor Coach

September 8, 2010 by · 6 Comments 

Thor Motor Coach logoBill Fenech, president of Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International, today (Sept. 8) announced a strategic plan to consolidate the operations of Damon and Four Winds to form Thor Motor Coach.

Today, Damon and Four Winds combined are the No. 1 retail selling motorhome in the industry, Fenech said, referring to Statistical Surveys Inc., year-to-date through June  sales figures. This consolidation is a natural progression of bringing these two companies together to form one company to maintain this market leading position, he stated in a news release.

Fenech reaffirmed the reasons for the consolidation: “The most motivating reason for this consolidation was to help our dealers and retail customers by building incredible brands supported by a strong name. This new structure will help us to leverage the Thor name, which is known for its strength and stability, while allowing us to better focus on our value oriented individual brands. Developing hot, innovative products through intense dealer and retail customer feedback is critical to our success and will continue to drive how we do business and will only improve with this increased focus. Damon and Four Winds were always lean operations but this consolidation will help to make Thor Motor Coach even leaner, driving our costs down which we will pass on to our dealers and retail customers.”

Product development and sales will be structured for maximum product and dealer focus by dividing up the Thor Motor Coach brands into three separate sales and product development groups – gasoline Class A’s, Class C’s and diesels.

  • Dana Simon, a 20-year veteran of Four Winds, will be the vice president and general manager of the gas Class A and Class C brands which include Hurricane, Windsport, Daybreak, Challenger, Four Winds and Chateau.
  • Matt Thompson, a seven-year veteran of Damon, will be the vice president and general manager of the diesel brands which include the Serrano, Avanti, Astoria and Tuscany.

“This is absolutely the best move to better serve our dealers and retail customers. We are truly a great company to work with. We always put our dealers and customers before ourselves. I personally believe our customer service and parts are among the best in the industry,” said Thompson.

“With the accumulated efforts of our excellent employees from both divisions I’m sure we will provide the best products and services to our loyal dealers and retail customers. We have made fantastic strides in our quality, and I feel our quality ranks up there with higher priced products. This an exciting time for all of us; especially our dealers,” said Simon.

Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International and now Thor Motor Coach are part of Thor Industries Inc. Jackson Center, Ohio.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Fenechs Up Learning Center Support to $50K

August 10, 2010 by · Comments Off on Fenechs Up Learning Center Support to $50K 

Bill and Kristin Fenech increased their personal donation to the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Education Foundation’s RV Learning Center by $10,000, making their total contribution $50,000, according to a news release from the RVDA.

The Fenechs have been supporters of the RV Learning Center since 2004. Bill Fenech is president of the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiaries Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International.

“A gift to the RV Learning Center is one of the best ways to improve the availability of continuing education for RV dealership employees,” said Bill Fenech. “Kristin and I are pleased to be able to support these important industry programs that help improve the sales and service process for RV buyers.”

“Industry support is vital if the RV Learning Center is to develop and maintain its educational offerings,” said RVDA Education Foundation Chairman Rick Horsey of Parkview RV Center in Smyrna, Del. “We thank Bill and Kristin for their ongoing support for RV dealers and the RV Learning Center.”

The RV Learning Center is dedicated to providing dealers and their employees with innovative ways to operate RV dealerships through an array of education resources including publications, distance learning, live workshops, online products, training, and certification programs for RV dealership personnel. Participation in RV industry certification programs was a key recommendation of the Go RVing Coalition’s Committee on Excellence Task Force reports, which studied consumer satisfaction.

The RV Learning Center is in the midst of a 2010 Fundraising Challenge campaign to support industry education programs. For more information on the Foundation’s RV Learning Center and to contribute, visit, send an e-mail to, or send a fax to (703) 359-0152. The RVDA Education Foundation is a tax exempt organization as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions may be tax deductible as charitable donations.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Thor Diesel Club Invites Members to Rally

August 10, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Logo for the new Thor Diesel Owners Club

Unofficial logo for the new Thor Diesel Club

Owners of Four Winds International and Damon Motor Coach diesel products are being welcomed into the newly formed Thor Diesel Club, formerly known as the Mandalay Travel Club.

The club is extending an invitation to all owners of the following Class A diesel coaches: Damon Avanti, Astoria, Essence, Escaper, LX400, Tuscany and Ultrasport; Four Winds Serrano and Monteceito; and Mandalay Presidio, Mandalay and Valencia.

Thor Diesel Club will host its first rally Oct. 3-8 in Goshen, Ind. Jim Larocca, president of Thor Diesel Club, extended an open invitation to all the qualifying owners to stop out and become a charter member of the newly formed Thor Diesel Club.

“Damon and Four Winds will sponsor this event and have staff available at the rally. The Thor Diesel Club will continue their traditions of the past and you will find seminars, vendor support, giveaways, food, golf and tech service during the week for all attendees. Jim Larocca promises that this will be a great way to get more enjoyment with your coach and meet new friends while learning about your coach,” according to a news release.

For more information go to or contact the Rally Master Fran Watkins by e-mail:

Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International are subsidiaries of Thor Industries Inc. Jackson Center, Ohio, the world s largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Four Winds Hikes Production to Meet Demand

July 7, 2010 by · Comments Off on Four Winds Hikes Production to Meet Demand 

Four Winds International Corp. today (July 7) announced a substantial increase in Class A motorhome production to keep up with demand for the Hurricane, Windsport, Serrano and Montecito brands in the market.

The Class C Four Winds and Chateau have also seen a significant rise in overall production levels for the first six months of this year, according to a news release.

“We are thrilled to be able to increase our production,” commented Dana Simon, general manager of Four Winds International. “The commitment from our dealers has been outstanding. Product changes and the introduction of hot, new floorplans have had a considerable impact on this production increase.”

The boost for the Four Winds products came on the heels of the innovative “Summer Sizzler” program. A special retail price for select motorhome models was the emphasis of the “Summer Sizzler.” Retail customers are taking advantage of aggressive $49,995 retail pricing on the 23A model Four Winds and Chateau brands, along with $69,995 retail pricing on the 31D Hurricane and Windsport models.

“The Summer Sizzler package has really driven retail awareness of all Four Winds products. We are seeing the benefits of this program at the dealer and customer level,” Simon said.

In addition, the Serrano Class A continues to build a great following in the market. The new 31X is now arriving on dealers’ lots. Serrano models feature expansive exterior storage areas and fuel-sipping aerodynamic design. The X-model is the first floorplan to offer a bedroom slide while still maintaining the compact and easy-to-maneuver overall length. The front kitchen design is highlighted by the large leatherette U-shaped dinette. The 32-inch LCD TV is positioned mid-ship which can be utilized while traveling.

The new 31X Serrano is retail priced at $119,995.

Four Winds International is a subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Thornburg Heads TMS’s Concierge Service

May 4, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Stony Thornburg

Stony Thornburg

Stony Thornburg was named to head up the new personal service advocate program for Thor Motorized Services (TMS), serving owners of Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International Corp. products.

TMS announced in December creation of the new program for retail owners called “Concierge Connection.”

The program was developed to establish a personal relationship with new retail owners of Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International motorhomes. With this program now in full swing, brand new owners will be contacted by their personal service advocate, Thornburg.

When a dealer submits the retail sold registration for a new motorhome, Thornburg will call the new customer to introduce himself and Thor Motorized Services. The goal for the Concierge Connection is to provide a person at the factory who can provide helpful information or advice to new retail customers, according to a news release.

Thornburg has been in the RV industry for 17 years and has worked with suppliers and manufacturers in various positions. “He has a wealth of knowledge in customer service, technical troubleshooting, and dealer and owner relations,” said Janae’ Kurtz, TMS director. “Stony has been part of the customer service team for nine years and is a natural fit as our concierge. Stony has not only the knowledge of this position, but he has the experience and training to make him successful. As a veteran of our armed forces, he understands leadership and how to implement a successful game plan. I couldn’t be happier with our choice for the job.”

“Working with customers is what I love to do. Fostering new relationships and treating people with the utmost respect is what keeps me coming back to the office everyday. After only five months I can tell we are making a difference,” said Thornburg.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Four Winds International Adds to Sales Team

April 5, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Elkhart, Ind.-based Four Winds International has beefed up its sales staff with a trio of appointments and promotions.

Industry veteran Mark O’Connor has joined the Four Winds International sales team, effective April 1, as the sales manager for Hurricane and Windsport Class A’s, along with Four Winds and Chateau Class C motorhomes for the western United States, according to a news release.

O’Connor will be an instant asset for dealers as he has held positions on the wholesale and retail side of the business. Most recently, he held the position of national director of aales for the Fleetwood towable division, and prior to that he was the inventory manager for Mike Thompson’s RV in California. Dealers can contact O’Connor at

Barry Hughes will be leading sales development in the middle section of the U.S. for the Serrano and Montecito diesel-powered Class A products. He has held positions on both the wholesale and retail sides of the business. Hughes rejoins the Four Winds team, after a successful year in the retail side of the business. Previously he managed the Midwest for Four Winds Class A and C products. Dealers can contact Hughes at

Elliott Bond has been promoted to the sales manager for the West Coast for the Serrano and Montecito diesel-powered Class A products. Bond will be responsible for dealer development and training in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Arizona, Utah, California and Nevada. He joined the Four Winds team last year as the West Coast sales representative for the Ventura Class B product. Dealers can contact Bond at

Four Winds International is a subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc., Jackson Center, Ohio.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Thor’s Class As Going Exclusively Freightliner

March 16, 2010 by · Comments Off on Thor’s Class As Going Exclusively Freightliner 

Freightliner Custom Chassis logoFreightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) expands its presence in the motorhome industry by entering into a new multiyear exclusivity agreement with Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International, which are both divisions of Thor Industries Inc., according to a news release.

The agreement is for upcoming model years of all Damon and Four Winds rear-diesel Class A motorhomes including the Astoria, Astoria Pacific Edition, Tuscany and Essence from Damon and the Montecito from Four Winds.

With the new agreement, FCCC’s XC-R raised-rail chassis will be the exclusive chassis offered on the Damon and Four Winds diesel models. The XC-R chassis provides excellent durability and performance, superior maneuverability and a comfortable ride for passengers. Furthermore, the XC-R raised-rail design allows for increased pass-through storage beneath the coach.

“Our new agreement with Thor Industries, the largest manufacturer in the RV industry, enables us to expand our presence within the Class A diesel motorhome market,” said Jonathan Randall, director of sales and marketing for FCCC. “This partnership will allow Thor Industries’ customers to experience our reliable, comfortable and durable chassis and access to our first-class customer service.”

“Both Damon and Four Winds have had a long relationship with FCCC, and we value our partnership with them,” said Bill Fenech, president of Damon and Four Winds. “We feel they are the premier rear diesel chassis manufacturer, and we are pleased to renew our agreement to build our rear diesel models exclusively on their chassis.”

For more information about the FCCC XC-R chassis and all FCCC products, visit the company Wewebsite at

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. manufactures premium chassis for the motorhome, delivery walk-in van and school bus and shuttle bus markets. It is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Motor Home Specialist Joins Four Winds Network

January 13, 2010 by · Comments Off on Motor Home Specialist Joins Four Winds Network 

Motor Home Specialist logoEffective in December, Motor Home Specialist, located in Alvarado, Texas, has joined the nationwide dealer network for Four Winds International Corp., a Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary.

Motor Home Specialist easily caught the attention of Four Winds, due to the RV dealer consistently holding its position as the No. 1 volume selling RV dealer in the state of Texas since 2007, according to a news release.

Four Winds approached Motor Home Specialist because “they wanted an RV dealer who sells high volume,” said Donny O’Banion, Motor Home Specialist CEO. “We sell in large volume, and we sell for less. Instead of earning a huge profit off of a few sales, we would rather sell more RVs to more customers at a larger discount.”

With a 22-acre lot located just south of the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex, Motor Home Specialist now sells new models of Four Winds’ luxurious Hurricane Class A RVs, with several floorplans to choose from, including RVs with basements and semi-basements. The Texas RV dealer will also sell Four Winds’ Class C models.

“Many buyers who research several RV manufacturers will lean toward Four Winds International and Thor Industries Inc. because of their solid name and history,” said O’Banion. “Thor remains strong in this economy, and the RVs hold their value.”

O’Banion said that Motor Home Specialist has been selling Four Winds’ pre-owned RVs since the dealer’s inception in 1995.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Four Winds Sees Good Signs at National RV Show

December 16, 2009 by · Comments Off on Four Winds Sees Good Signs at National RV Show 


Four Winds International Montecito

Four Winds International Montecito

Four Winds International (FWI) saw increases in both Class A and Class C sales sparked by new dealers taking on FWI products at the recent National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of the show, especially the huge increase in the number of motorhome dealers bringing in new motorhome inventory,” said Dana Simon, FWI general manager, in a news release. “I believe the commitment we are making to the overall industry and the retail customers coming into the RV industry is being seen by our dealers. With the continued support and financial stability of Thor we are able to further design and upgrade our products, which was evident to dealers in our Louisville product mix.”

The Serrano Class A continued to impress the dealers and the media, as the two models on display experienced constant traffic. The Hurricane Class A continued to see sales success as dealers looked for a solid performer in an entry to mid-line gas motorhome, Simon said. Dealers spent large amounts of time reviewing and ordering the new Montecito and Windsport Prestige, two new models introduced at the show.

The introduction of the “Concierge Connection,” a follow-up program for new retail owners, was rolled out along with an overview of Thor Motorized Services,  the customer service and warranty arm of Four Winds.

“The show provided great exposure for the new programs we are rolling out at Thor Motorized Services. The new Concierge Connection is going to set the benchmark for all manufacturers,” noted Janaé Kurtz, director of Thor Motorized Services.

“The team is making a commitment to take Four Winds to the next level,” said Bill Fenech, Four Winds president and CEO. “Since coming to Four Winds in June, Dana and his team have taken on a lot of different responsibilities. I brought a change in thinking to Four Winds and we can see it paying off in the products we are building and the commitment we have made to our dealers and retail buyer.”

Four Winds continues to excel in the Class C market, and dealers are flocking to the Four Winds and Chateau Class C models for retail and rental purposes, Fenech noted. Both models offer eight floorplans, with a combination of slide and non-slides, so the product can be customized to meet a dealers needs. 

Four Winds International is a subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc., Jackson Center, Ohio.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Workhorse Chassis Makes Mark in RV Industry

December 3, 2009 by · Comments Off on Workhorse Chassis Makes Mark in RV Industry 

Workhorse chassisThe Workhorse W-20D/W-22D front-engine diesel chassis with its International MaxxForce 7 engine has taken a big leap in improving motorhome fuel economy, while providing outstanding torque for Class A motorhomes along with the quietest V8 diesel engine you might ever drive, according to a news release.

Independent tests at Bosch Proving Grounds in South Bend, Ind., had this chassis-engine match-up achieving up to 13.2 mpg, an almost unheard of figure for a Class A motorhome. The tests were conducted with a 32-foot Four Winds Serrano coach body and loaded to the maximum 20,500-pound GVWR. The Serrano has been drawing heavy consumer interest throughout 2009 and was named a “Best of Show” at the September Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show by The W20D chassis and MaxxForce 7 engine are both on display at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville this week along with the Serrano.

The latest version of the MaxxForce 7, V8 tuned for motorhomes generates 230 hp and 620 pound-feet of torque. “This high volume, rugged mid-range diesel engine is the heart of many International medium duty trucks. Now it is making its mark in the RV industry,” said Tony Monda, Workhorse Custom Chassis Corp. vice president of marketing. “Coupled with the six-speed Allison transmission, our W20D and W22D front engine diesel platforms do not sacrifice power and performance in order to achieve better fuel economy.

“These platforms have incredible grade ability and pulling power. Our proprietary RV consumer research indicated that class A potential buyers still want power and performance — but they are also demanding better fuel economy and that is what the new W-Series delivers. Our strategy is to continue to integrate MaxxForce engines into Workhorse products where applicable, creating synergies with (parent company) Navistar(International Corp.)  along with true market differentiation.”

Quietest diesel V8

Drivers will also immediately notice that MaxxForce 7 is quiet. The noise level measured at 68.9 dBA in a low idle test. A high-pressure common rail fuel system, piezo actuated fuel injectors and a block and head design with a single-piece nodular iron bedplate are among the features that contribute to reduced noise and vibrations, a key to the MaxxForce 7’s front-engine application.

 Selling well

Presently, the Serrano coach from Four Winds International exclusively uses the W20D for both its 31Z single-slide out and 31V double slide out models. Four Winds Director of Marketing Jon Krider said dealerships with the product find that “it retails quite quickly. They’re seeing consumers that traditionally look at diesel pushers and longer coaches. These customers are finding many features with the coach and chassis that they like, starting with things like storage and the whole aerodynamic look and contemporary feel of the coach. So instead of spending $200,000 to $300,000 for a bigger coach, they can get a lot of what they want at a much lower price point.”

Regarding the W20D and Serrano matchup, Krider said, “Retail customers comment on how quiet the cockpit is for having a diesel engine right under their feet. We get a lot of comments about just how well the coach drives because of the 50-degree turning radius and being able to turn a short coach around in a tight area. And we get many good comments about the overall stability of the coach moving down the road.”

For such reasons, Krider believes spring sales of the Serrano will be even better.

High performance technology

The series sequential EVRT turbocharger provides exceptional response over a wide range of engine speeds for impressive acceleration, grade climbing, towing capability and high altitude performance. The turbo is tuned to improve fuel economy while also making the vehicle very responsive to the driver. The MaxxForce 7 also provides unaided cold-starting performance from -20° F within four seconds. Routine maintenance is economical, with oil changes every 10,000 miles.

Workhorse is an affiliate of Navistar International Corp. 

For additional information about Workhorse, call (877) 294-6773 or visit

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Thor Subsidiaries Launch ‘Concierge Connection’

November 24, 2009 by · Comments Off on Thor Subsidiaries Launch ‘Concierge Connection’ 

Thor Motorized Services (TMS), the service arm of Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International, this week announced its new “Concierge Connection…Your Personal Service Advocate.”

Concierge Connection offers new retail owners of any Damon or Four Winds motorhome a personal service advocate who is responsible to expedite any service needs, according to a news release. The concierge will contact the retail owner within days of being notified of a retail registration and welcome them to the TMS family.

In addition, the concierge will explain the warranty and answer any questions such as how to obtain service and give answers to general FAQ’s about their motorhome operation. The concierge will emphasize the need for the owner to take their motorhome to the selling dealer for service whenever possible and that the dealer is the main point of contact for service. If there is a need for more technical assistance, the owners will be assigned a Customer Service Specialist who will be qualified to handle all of their concerns and help them increase their comfort level with their motorhome.

The Concierge will contact the retail owner again during the third month of ownership to bolster confidence in the service commitment provided by TMS. The follow up will assure the owner that TMS will assist in connecting the owner to a Customer Service Specialist, acting as a liaison between the owner and dealer.

“This is simply one of many unique steps Thor Motorized Services is taking to lay the foundation for an owner friendly relationship between Damon or Four Winds, the retail owner and the dealer,” said Janae Kurtz, TMS director of customer service. “We strive to exceed expectations in customer service, and by building relationships, we are confident we will build loyalty for our products and services. Our goals at TMS include acting on feedback received from all owners, thinking ‘outside’ the box to solve concerns, and striving for continuous improvement.

“We are excited about the opportunity that the ‘Concierge Connection’ program brings to the customer service experience. This program is going to provide a customer focused service relationship between the retail owner, dealer and manufacturer on a level unparalleled in the RV industry.”

Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International are subsidiaries of Thor Industries Inc., Jackson Center, Ohio.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Thompson Turned Disappointment into Success

November 18, 2009 by · Comments Off on Thompson Turned Disappointment into Success 


Wade Thompson

Wade Thompson

In the midst of a business downturn for recreational vehicles in 1980, Wade Thompson purchased an iconic but failing brand, Airstream, and turned it into a money maker within a year.

Mr. Thompson, who died Nov. 12 at the age of 69, went on to add a dozen RV manufacturers to the roster of Thor Industries Inc., which became the nation’s biggest RV manufacturer by sales.

The RV industry went through another downturn starting in 2007, when a sharp rise in oil prices was followed by recession. Thor closed factories and cut jobs, but stayed profitable even as leading rivals filed for bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“As long as there’s a Grand Canyon, there will be an RV industry,” Mr. Thompson was fond of saying.

Once a fragmented industry populated by small companies, RVs became big business with Thor. In 1986, the company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and it had sales of $3 billion in its peak year of 2006.

Mr. Thompson and his business partner, Peter Orthwein, were specialists in finance rather than manufacturing. They ran the companies from offices in New York and Connecticut rather than their manufacturing base in the Midwest.

They retained the individual identities of the companies they acquired, including Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc., Four Winds International and Keystone RV Co.

The brands have their own manufacturing facilities — many in the Elkhart, Ind., area, that is often called the world’s RV capital — but they benefit from centralized procurement and finance operations.

“By putting many successful companies under one parent, they have changed the face of the RV industry nationwide,” says Allen R. Hesselbart, a historian at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc., a museum in Elkhart dedicated to RVs.

Raised in Wellington, New Zealand, Mr. Thompson as a boy dreamed of living in New York City, which he knew only from photos in an old family encyclopedia. His father operated a metal shop, and Mr. Thompson excelled in school and at sports.

After college, Mr. Thompson made his way to the U.S., where he studied business at New York University while working as a salesman at Brooks Brothers, the men’s clothier. After graduation and in deference to his father’s wishes, he returned to New Zealand to open a clothing store in Wellington, to be called Shirtmasters. But after customs officials refused at first to allow him to import a crate of new Gant shirts from the U.S., Mr. Thompson decided to leave New Zealand.

“I couldn’t live in a socialist system like that,” Mr. Thompson told the Dominion Post, a New Zealand newspaper, in 2004. “I thought, how in the world can this system work here?”

Settling for good in New York in 1967, Mr. Thompson worked in the acquisitions department of Sperry & Hutchinson Co., the makers of green trading stamps distributed as premiums by supermarkets. Eager to have his own business, he tried other ventures, including owning a pair of Orange Julius franchise juice bars in New York’s Times Square area.

In 1977, Mr. Thompson teamed with Mr. Orthwein to buy the Hi-Lo Trailer Co., a small Ohio-based manufacturer of campers. Three years later, they purchased Airstream Inc. from Beatrice Foods Co., which was seeking to unload underperforming assets during a restructuring. The partners named their new company Thor after the first two letters of their last names, but kept the iconic brand name. Airstream went from a $12 million loss in 1979 to a $1 million profit the next year.

More comfortable in his offices atop New York’s Grand Central Station than at Thor’s official home of Jackson Center, Ohio., Mr. Thompson relished life in New York. He became a frequent presence at art auctions. Among his purchases was an Andy Warhol depiction of a pane of S&H Green Stamps that Mr. Thompson bought for $5 million in 2006.

Mr. Thompson also championed the restoration of the Park Avenue Armory, a Victorian edifice on Manhattan’s Upper East Side that was transformed into one of New York’s largest theater and exhibition sites. He donated $35 million to the project, and at his death was chairman of the nonprofit organization spearheading the renovations.

Mr. Thompson never owned an RV, but he did drive one during a 2005 trip to southern Utah, say family members.

Although one of his companies produced an RV known as a Land Yacht, Mr. Thompson preferred to zip around in a red Mini Cooper.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Four Winds Optimistic About National RV Show

November 16, 2009 by · Comments Off on Four Winds Optimistic About National RV Show 

As Four Winds International prepares to unveil two new products at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., next month, a steady stream of optimism is building as the demand for Four Winds motorhomes increases.

Recently, production rates for Elkhart, Ind.-based Four Winds Class A and Class C motorhomes have increased as a direct result of providing the best “bang for the buck” to dealers and retail buyers, according to a news release. “This resurgence of motorhome customers has allowed us to rehire 40 employees over the past two months. This is a great shot in the arm for our company and our community,” commented Bill Fenech, Four Winds International President.

“We are in the process of reinvigorating the Four Winds line-up,” commented Dana Simon, Four Winds International general manager. “Over the past six months we have looked at our overall product offering and had to make some tough decisions that will carry us into the new year. We are focused on simplifying our offerings while providing dealers and retail customers the best products, features and customer support,”

For Louisville, Four Winds will display to its dealers and prospective dealers the Hurricane Class A, along with the Four Winds and Chateau Class C. The Montecito diesel pusher and redesigned Windsport basement models will provide a new spark to the overall line-up. The new Montecito offers the best in floorplans, features and drivetrain. The Montecito features five unique floorplans starting at 39 feet and includes two 42-foot. tag axle models. Power comes from a Cummins ISC 360-HP engine, while the Freightliner XCR chassis provides the structure. The 42C, bath and half floorplan will be unveiled for the first time to dealers.

The Windsport basement models have been updated with new front and rear fiberglass caps and new halogen lighting inside the coach. The new “Prestige Package” features Ultraleather furniture packages, residential cabinetry styling and new décors.

The Serrano Class A motorhome combines fuel efficiency and compact design. The powerful International MaxxForce 7 engine and Workhorse chassis provide power, stability and driving comfort.

Four Winds International is a subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc. Jackson Center, Ohio, the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

RV Buddies Online Video Tours Four Winds’ Serrano 31V

November 3, 2009 by · Comments Off on RV Buddies Online Video Tours Four Winds’ Serrano 31V 

A complete video tour and review article for the Four Winds International Serrano 31V are available live on “RV Buddies Online”

“The Serrano 31V features a lot of big things in a smaller, more convenient package. At just under 33 feet in length and only 8 feet wide, this well-designed coach has access to many places bigger coaches just can’t go,” said Mark Summers, host and producer of “RV Buddies.”

But just because the 31V is a smaller, more convenient coach, doesn’t mean it gives up anything in storage.

“The amenities and mega-storage are hard to find even in much larger coaches, making the Serrano a serious contender for the RV buyer,” said Summers, adding, “especially if you want to be able to go just about anywhere without leaving behind any of the comforts of home!”

In addition to generous storage areas, the coach rides atop the Workhorse W-20D chassis, powered by the International MaxxForce 7 V-8 diesel engine. The Serrano is larger than the “Sprinter-class” coaches — but for its size it is fuel efficient and powerful with 620 pound-feet of torque. It also features 5000 pounds of towing capacity and 19.5-inch full-size tires and wheels.

“The Serrano offers style, storage and diesel at an affordable price. It’s a great combination in a nicely sized package,” Summers said.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

AutoWeek Allies with Four Winds and Camping World

June 10, 2009 by · Comments Off on AutoWeek Allies with Four Winds and Camping World 

AutoWeek, Four Winds International Corp. and Camping World Inc. today (June 10) announced their partnership for the Rock ‘n’ Race Summer of Love Tour 2009.

For the next two months, AutoWeek editors will tour the country visiting uniquely American events — and writing about them — from the comforts of a 32-foot-long Serrano motorcoach supplied by Four Winds and Camping World, according to a news release.

“It’s an excuse to climb into an all-time great ride, go to the hottest music, car and race venues in North America, step into some of our readers’, listeners’ and viewers’ lives and truck it on down the road,” says Dutch Mandel, AutoWeek editor and associate publisher. “The idea began with the epiphany that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival. While some of our readers were there in body and mind, we all attended Woodstock in spirit. And let’s face it — music and cars go so well together that this was a natural.”

The tour will include inside access — and on-site reporting — from great music festivals, car shows and races.

Some of the stops:

  • Bonnaroo Music Festival – Manchester, Tenn., June 11-14.
  • NASCAR Camping World Truck Race – Loudon, N.H., June 24-28.
  • Rothbury Music Festival – Rothbury, Mich., July 2-6.
  • Blue Oyster Cult Concert – Clarkston, Mich., July 8.
  • Michigan Softball World Series – Croswell-Lexington, Mich., July 9-22.
  • NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – Indianapolis, July 23-26.

Four Winds International, based in Elkhart, Ind., is a manufacturer of Class A, B and C motorhomes and has been building motorhomes since 1992.

Camping World, based in Bowling Green, Ky., is America’s largest direct marketer and specialty retailer of recreational vehicles and outdoor camping accessories and services. 

AutoWeek magazine is America’s fortnightly automotive-enthusiast publication based in Detroit, Mich., and is one of more than 30 titles published by Crain Communications Inc.

Camping World is affiliated with Affinity Group Inc. (AGI) which publishes RVBusiness and

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Next Page »