Jayco Names Jacobs as COO in ‘Realignment’

December 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Jim Jacobs

Jayco Inc. today (Dec. 20) announced changes in its senior management team, including naming Derald Bontrager as CEO while Jim Jacobs will serve as COO.

According to a press release the moves are part of a plan to strategically position the company “to take maximum advantage of emerging opportunities for long-term growth.” All changes will be effective Jan. 1, 2013.

As part of the new alignment, Wilbur Bontrager has decided to relinquish the title of CEO. He has served as chairman and CEO for 19 years and will continue to serve as chairman, concentrating on long-term development and corporate planning.

Derald Bontrager will assume the duties of CEO in addition to his role as president of the Middlebury, Ind.-based company. As president and CEO, he will move into the top management role in the operation of the company, concentrating on strategic issues and overall organizational direction.

Jacobs, a 10-year veteran with Jayco, will assume responsibility for day-to-day activities of the company as COO. All operating divisions will report to him. Jacobs was previously president of the company’s Starcraft division and the Jayco Motorhome Group.

In making the announcement, Wilbur Bontrager noted, “It has become clear to us that the time is right for the company to position itself to take maximum advantage of emerging opportunities and the long-term growth of our business. The RV industry is rebounding from recent economic uncertainty and Jayco has solidified its industry-wide leadership position. We are blessed to have a talented management team that will take us to even greater heights in the months and years ahead.”



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Jayco Growing Entegra, Adding 65 Jobs by ’15

November 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Jayco Inc. announced plans today (Nov. 5) to expand its headquarters in Middlebury, Ind., creating up to 65 new jobs by 2015.

According to a news release, Jayco will invest $2.9 million to add a 77,000-square-foot extension to an existing 62,000-square-foot facility in Middlebury. The new addition, slated to be complete in May, will house production for Entegra Coach, the company’s high-end motorhome line.

Jayco, which currently employs more than 1,700 workers on its 373 acre-campus in Middlebury, plans to begin filling additional manufacturing positions this spring.

“Northern Indiana has been our primary base of operation since the company was founded in 1968,” said Wilbur Bontrager, chairman and CEO of Jayco. “The strengthening economy, Jayco’s market share growth, available labor force and Indiana’s business-friendly environment all combine to give us the confidence to make this expansion move now. We look forward to continuing to work with both state and local government to create jobs and to boost our company’s momentum.”

Founded in 1968 by Lloyd J. Bontrager in two chicken coops and a barn, Jayco has grown to become the third largest recreational vehicle manufacturer in the United States and Canada, selling to more than 500 dealers around the world. With the goal of being landfill free by 2015, Jayco recycled 5,438 tons of wood, 1,332 tons of scrap metal and 793 tons of cardboard last year.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Jayco up to $775,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The town of Middlebury supports this project at the request of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County.

“The town of Middlebury is pleased to see that Jayco is doing well,” said Mark Salee, town manager of Middlebury. “The town is committed to supporting all the businesses in Middlebury, especially a company such as Jayco. This expansion of the Jayco facilities is a good sign of economic growth in our community.”

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels noted, “Jobs announcements from RV manufacturing leaders like Jayco further prove that Elkhart County is coming back stronger than ever. Elkhart remains the RV capital of the world and is a major center of economic strength for Indiana thanks to our state’s enterprise-friendly policies and remarkably skilled workforce.”


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Jayco Rolling Out Redhawk ‘C’ For Open House

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Jayco Inc. will introduce to dealers the all-new, entry-level Redhawk Class C motorhome during this week’s Elkhart County RV Open House at its campus in Middlebury, Ind.

The new Redhawk’s floorplans range from 26 feet to 32 feet in length, providing a “high-quality motorhome in a compact style,” according to a press release. Standard equipment includes a booth dinette with laminate top, three-burner range with range hood, 8-cubic-foot refrigerator and a microwave. Ample living space offers “elegant touches” such as Washington Glazed Maple cabinetry, pleated night shades throughout and brushed nickel cabinet hardware.

The 2013 Redhawk also features several available family-friendly components, including TV hookups with recept and coax, exterior storage compartments, in-dash radio and an electric slideout for more interior room.

Built to deliver power, the 2013 Redhawk’s standard heavy-duty 6.8 liter Ford Triton V-10, 305-hp chassis includes a 130-amp alternator, 5,000 pound hitch, 55-gallon fuel tank and Hellwig helper springs. Redhawk’s aerodynamic fiberglass front cap design reduces drag, helping to increase gas mileage. The front-end chassis design allows for increased airflow, increased GVWR and a revised suspension system to deliver solid handling.

Other notable features include 84-inch ceiling height, an electric entry step system, a chassis vibration isolation system and a large pass-through rear storage on select units. Other construction features include the Tuffshell vacuum-bonded laminated sidewalls with a welded aluminum frame core, tackless carpeting with padding throughout unit and rubber body mounts with Hellwig helper springs for a smooth ride.

The new Redhawk also comes with Jayco’s Co-Pilot Warranty, offering the original purchaser a two-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

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Jayco Shows Entry-Level RedHawk Motorhome

September 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Jayco RedHawk

Jayco Inc.’s new RedHawk Class C motorhome, introduced last week at the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) 87th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase in Indianapolis, is the Middlebury, Ind. manufacturer’s re-entry into the entry-level market. ”This was a product, a segment that Jayco had not participated in for several years,” said Jim Jacobs, president of Jayco’s motorized group. ”One of the ways we were able to control our costs was we standardized. There are very few options. Featurewise, the RedHawk has everything in it that you would expect in a much higher-priced segment.” Offered initially with two floorplans — a single-slideout 26-footer with a walk-around queen bed and a 32-foot double-slide floorplan equipped with bunk beds — RedHawk is built on a Ford E-450 cutaway chassis equipped with a 305-hp Triton V-10 engine. Featuring molded fiberglass front caps, both floorplans are designed with overcab bunk beds. Standard amenities include backup cameras, 32-inch LCD TVs, residential linoleum floors, under-bed storage with gas struts, booth dinettes, laminate countertops with composite sinks, beechwood cabinets with screwed stiles and power driver seats. MSRP: $84,809.

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‘Tour of Duty’ Set to Stop at Jayco on Thursday

August 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Tour of Duty, a group of 24 Australian and American military, firefighters and police riding bicycles across the United States to honor those who serve our nations, will stop at Jayco Inc.’s Middlebury, Ind., campus Thursday (Aug. 30).

According to a press release, Jayco is one of the main sponsors for the ride, which started from the USS Midway in San Diego on Aug. 12 and will finish in New York on Sept. 10. Jayco has donated the use of two motorhomes, a Seneca and a Greyhawk, for the Tour of Duty to use as support vehicles along their journey.

“We are proud to get behind such a great cause.” said Derald Bontrager, president of Jayco. “Those that serve our country continuously carry out selfless acts of courage and deserve the respect and admiration that this ride represents.”

In 2010, Australian and American firefighters and police united for a relay run across the United States from Los Angeles to New York, where Jayco also donated the use of two motorhomes as support vehicles. Since then, the Tour of Duty became an event of “great magnitude and pride,” according to the release.

As a cycling event for the first time, the 2,600-mile ride comprises of 20 stages across the United States. The ride pays tribute to the hundreds of people who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., and to those who continue to serve in the fight for security and peace. Funds raised along the way will support the Wounded Warrior project and the New York Police and Fire widows and childrens fund.

For more information on the ride, please visit or contact Rob Wills at For more information about Jayco please visit

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Jayco Motorhomes Support ‘Tour of Duty’ Trek

August 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Jayco Inc. has donated two motorhomes to the Tour of Duty, a group of 24 Australian and American military, firefighters and police who recently set off on a bicycle journey across the United States.

According to a press release, the group started from the USS Midway in San Diego Sunday (Aug. 12) and will finish in New York on Sept. 10. Their 2,600-mile ride will stop in various cities across the U.S. to honor and show appreciation for both nations’ first responders. Jayco’s motorhomes, a Seneca 36FK and a Greyhawk 31SS, are being used as support vehicles for the Tour of Duty.

“We are proud to get behind such a great cause.” said Derald Bontrager, president of Jayco. “Those that serve our country continuously carry out selfless acts of courage and deserve the respect and admiration that this ride represents.”

In 2010, Australian and American firefighters and police united for a relay run across the United States from Los Angeles to New York, where Jayco also donated the use of two motorhomes as support vehicles. As a cycling event for the first time, the group started in San Diego at the USS Midway and will finish at the USS Intrepid in New York. The 2,600-mile ride is comprised of 20 stages across the United States.

The ride pays tribute to the hundreds of people who responded to the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York and Washington, D.C. and to those who continue to serve in the fight for security and peace. Funds raised along the way will support the Wounded Warrior project and the New York Police and Fire widows and childrens fund.

For more information on the ride, please visit or contact Rob Wills at

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Jayco Unveils New ’13 Product at Homecoming

June 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Jayco Seismic toy hauler

Jayco Inc.’s recently completed 2012 Dealer Homecoming in Myrtle Beach, S.C., offered the Middlebury, Ind.-based company a chance to mark its 44th year of operation while giving dealers a broad look at initiatives and programs designed to give them a competitive edge in today’s marketplace.

Topping the list, according to President and COO Derald Bontrager, is a continued emphasis on an aggressive and innovative approach to product development.

“We’re extremely proud of the product lines being unveiled at this meeting – they are a reflection of our resolute commitment to provide our customers with the best value in the marketplace,” Bontrager said to attendees representing 145 dealerships during his keynote address at the Sheraton Resort Hotel and Convention Center. “And, they are a demonstration that the commitment to product engineering that we have promised you is beginning to pay off. We are quicker to market, we are innovative, and we are adding value for our customers.”

Dave Eash, vice president of sales and marketing, reinforced Jayco’s ability to offer product that stood out on dealers’ lots, noting, “For the most recent periods reported this year by Stat Surveys, Jayco’s market share is up in every category. And we are on track to ship more than 27,000 units.”

Newly named Director of Product Development Amy Duthie, taking over for veteran Paul Gardner who moved into a regional sales manager role, added, “In today’s economic and competitive environment, product innovation is more important than ever before. It is a process and a culture that must be continually refueled by Jayco. It is what fundamentally drives economic growth, it increases productivity and, therefore, lowers cost. It adds value to the products and, therefore, increases market share.”

Several all-new lines along with new generations for existing products were unveiled during the June 18-20 meeting. Highlights included:

• Jayco introduced a revamped lineup in its long-standing Eagle towable brand. The Eagle HT fifth-wheel series now features an aerodynamic front cap design, all-new exterior graphics and an exclusive Magnum truss roof system. The interior is set off by decorative wall and ceiling board panel, upgraded carpeting, hard-top valance window treatments and a new slide fascia design. The company’s Eagle line, which replaces the Eagle Super Lite, shares many of the HT’s key features while sporting a chocolate glazed front cap and metal skirting, black extrusion accents and new G20 dark-tint windows. For 2013, Jayco also added the Eagle Premier fifth-wheel, featuring a new deluxe graphics package, accented by chocolate glazed skirting and radius roof metal, and a new clay glazed accent cap. Interiors offer fresh window treatment styling, a slide fascia design that features hardwood, a rear living overhead cabinet design and decorative interior wall and ceiling board panel.

• During the dealer meeting, Jayco unveiled its new Jay Flight DST destination travel trailer to complement its Jay Flight Bungalow line. The new DST is equipped with an atrium-style, gelcoat front cap, 60-inch sliding patio door and a detachable hitch. The full-featured kitchen includes an 18 cubic foot residential-style refrigerator with icemaker, large 60/40 deep-bowl sink with high-rise faucet and glazed Concord Cherry cabinetry. The interior also sports 90-inch interior height, standard ceiling fan, hidden switch command/charging center, Diamondflor vinyl flooring, residential-grade carpeting with padding, and a J-steel jack-knife sofa.

• Jayco’s 2013 Seismic toy hauler “redefines the category,” according to the company, packaged with amenities and styling normally found in traditional fifth-wheels. Interiors include three optional paint schemes, standard frameless windows, curved walls and a full-featured kitchen set off by Washington Glazed Maple stained cabinetry. The Seismic is equipped with extra tall slideouts and extendable dinettes. The garage, accented by charcoal-stained cabinetry, converts into another bedroom, giving the Seismic an additional four-person sleeping capacity. There is also a rear party deck for entertaining.

Management also elaborated on the Jayco Motorhome Group that was formed earlier this year by combining Jayco Class C motorhomes with the Entegra Coach Class A luxury lineup that includes the Aspire, Anthem and Cornerstone brands. Jayco started its Entegra Coach division in 2008 as a result of its acquisition of the assets of the former Travel Supreme Corp.

“We made this move because we believe the time has come to leverage our strengths in the market and to intensify our focus on each product segment,” stated Sid Johnson, director of marketing. “We are convinced this strategic change will enhance both the Jayco towable and the Jayco Class C products, and it will allow the management and staff of each group to focus on the needs of the marketplace for that segment.”

Tadd Jenkins, national sales manager, emphasized that the realignment “affords many opportunities for dealers,” including increased sales training.

“We have increased the frequency of dealer visits, making sure we have the confidence of your sales crew,” he said. “Honestly as we have been out visiting dealerships, and fielding phone calls, responding to both dealer requests and customer questions, I am in awe at the current Jayco sales group and the professional manner in which they have handled all that they have for so many years.”

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Jayco Hosts ’12 Dealer Confab in Myrtle Beach

June 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Derald Bontrager

While acknowledging the need to keep pace with the industry’s rapidly evolving landscape, Jayco Inc. officials equally stressed the importance of its family-grown roots and adherence to “our core values” as the company opened its 2012 Dealer Homecoming Monday (June 18) in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

“Businesses throughout the world spend a lot of money every year trying to find the winning formula for improving their performance and competitive advantage,” stated Derald Bontrager, president and COO of the Middlebury, Ind.-based company, while delivering the keynote speech to attendees representing 145 Jayco dealerships at the Sheraton Resort Hotel and Convention Center. “What many organizations often fail to realize, in my opinion, is that lasting success comes from having a team that recognizes that people and values are their most important assets.”

Tying into the meeting’s theme of “One Family, One Future,” Bontrager noted, “Yes, we’re a family business. And we have included you in our extended family. And that means we’re all in this journey together. That’s where we’re different from most of the others.”

That journey includes, according to Bontrager, staying in step with an often-fickle and increasingly technologically-savvy consumer. “Our future depends on our ability to satisfy the passions of a shifting marketplace,” he said. “Today we are operating under a whole new set of wants, needs and desires on the part of our customers. That, and the economic realities which periodically cycle through our industry, have altered our business.

“The simple fact of the matter is that, out of necessity, Jayco has changed, is changing, and will continue to change.”

To reinforce the point, Bontrager reported that the company’s retail sales were up 16% year-to-date compared to the previous year. “That is an outstanding achievement, even in an improving economy,” he said.

Jayco Seismic toy hauler

He added that Jayco’s new generation of product, prominently displayed for dealers in Myrtle Beach, also offered evidence that the builder was in tune with today’s consumer.

“One of the worst business clichés, in my opinion, is, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’” Bontrager said. “The moment we have a product or service that is innovative or hot in the market, someone else is trying to figure out how to do it faster, cheaper and better. So our goal in product management is to obsolete our own products before someone else does. So, if it ain’t broke, we’ll break it.”

Bontrager also related that Jayco’s Twin Falls, Idaho, facility will play a key role in future plans, noting, “Expansion of our offerings out of our western facilities remains a high-priority item as we plan our strategy for the future.”

Following Bontrager’s opening remarks, several awards were presented to dealers, including:

• The Jayco Founders’ Award for 2012 was presented to RV City based in Morinville, Alberta, owned by Ross and Jean Hodgins. The dealership, founded in 1968, was first named to Jayco’s Gold Circle in 1991. The retailer currently operates on a 15-acre site and employs 60 employees.

• The top five Jayco motorhome dealers in North America were: No. 5, Vogt Motorhome Center, Ft. Worth, Texas, Danny Vogt and Aaron Vogt; No. 4, Camping World RV Sales, Albuquerque, N.M., Dane Wyatt and Nora Rashid; No. 3, K & C RV Centers, Longmont, Colo.; No. 2, Terry Town Travel Center, Grand Rapids, Mich.; and No. 1, Richardsons RV Centers, Riverside and Menifee, Calif., Steve Richardson.

• The largest towable dealer award and the No. 1 combined award were presented to Happy Trails RV Inc., Grande Prairie, Alberta and Prince George, British Columbia, Peter and Susan Teichroeb, and Neal Stranaghan and Madonna Reardigan.

• Gold Circle awards went to dealerships marking milestones with Jayco, including: 40 years, Thompson Family RV, Davenport, Iowa, Brad and Brandy Thompson, Ayton and Dalton Thompson; 30 years, Town & Country RV Center, Clyde, Ohio, Dale and Holly Tea, and Bill Tea; 25 years, Miles Motors, Swannanoa, N.C., Miles and Colene DeBruhl; Steve’s RV Center, Lacombe, La., Steve and Josh Bordelan; Crestview RV Center, Buda, Texas, Mike and Vickie Regan, Lindsey and Kelsey Regan; Hope’s Camper Corner, Monroe, La., Lloyd and Beverly Sivils; RV City, Huachuca, Ariz., Ron, Vi, Daniel, Daniella, Sadie and Torrie Hoffman.



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Jayco’s 2013 Seismic Toy Hauler in Production

June 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Jayco Seismic toy hauler

Jayco Inc. announced it has begun production of its all-new 2013 Seismic toy hauler, which recently earned a spot in the RVBusiness “Top 25 Debuts” list.

“We recognize the market for sport utility trailers is more sophisticated today than ever before,” said Sid Johnson, director of marketing for Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco. “Consumers want more than a garage attached to a sleeping area. Our goal is to provide a fifth-wheel which offers top-level amenities yet still provides room enough to carry whatever toys a family might want to bring along.”

The spacious, versatile on-board garage can convert into a bunkroom, patio deck or dining space. In addition to hauling ATV’s and motorcycles using the in-floor mounted D-rings, families can pack bicycles, games, canoes and other traditional outdoor gear. The garage can also be converted into workspace for crafters who sell their wares or dog show owners who need a grooming station.

Johnson also noted the list of “set-apart” features built into the Seismic, stating, “Everything about the look of the Seismic is different.”

Innovative features include a contoured front cap, three premium paint schemes, contemporary modern décor and residential-style furniture. “The unit has a modern feel to it and features many contemporary conveniences,” Johnson said. “We believe today’s consumer will appreciate the styling.”

Blending form with function, Seismic’s deluxe kitchen offers toe-kick lighting, high-end vinyl flooring, pendant lighting and high-gloss, solid-surface kitchen countertops with undermounted stainless-steel sink. Owners will enjoy a good night’s sleep in Seismic’s main bedroom with a 312-coil, 60-inch by 80-inch deluxe mattress with 2-inch top-side pad. A decorative headboard, added air conditioning ducts, 22-inch LCD HDTV and walk-in closet complete the suite.

The Seismic is equipped with a 102-inch wide-body construction on Jayco’s I-Class cambered structural-steel I-beam frame. The unit also has a one-piece underbelly cover with exposed fuel tanks and a one-piece seamless rubber roof with 3/8-inch plywood roof decking. Reflective foil insulation in the living room, bedroom and slideout floors, combined with Jayco’s Polar Barrier insulation package, help Seismic maintain interior temperatures for the ultimate stay.

“We wanted to make the entire experience more enjoyable for the owner,” Johnson said. “From towing to set up to take down, we made sure Seismic delivers.”

For more information visit

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Jayco Inc. Mini Gets MLB Network Exposure

May 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Brothers Derald Bontrager (left) and Wilbur Bontrager (right) of Jayco Inc. visit with James Ashurst (green shirt), vice president of public relations and advertising for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), and Stephen Connors, director of Midwest advertising sales for the MLB, beside the Jayco Seneca in the Jayco parking lot in Middlebury, Ind.

The Go RVing and MLB Network’s “Home and Away Tour” Jayco Seneca Class C motorhome stopped by Jayco Inc.’s headquarters in Middlebury, Ind., Wednesday (May 30) on its way from a St. Louis Cardinals’ game to the Tigers’ stadium in Detroit.

Wilbur Bontrager, CEO of Jayco Inc., and Derald Bontrager, president of Jayco, were there to greet James Ashurst, vice president of public relations and advertising for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), and Stephen Connors, director of Midwest Advertising Sales for the MLB, as the Seneca rolled into the parking lot.

“We’re always happy to help promote Go RVing’s message and this opportunity was a fun way for us to participate.” said Derald Bontrager. “It was a win for Go RVing, the industry and Jayco.”

Since April 12, the Jayco Seneca 37RB Class C motorhome has been visiting the nation’s ballparks as a touring studio broadcasting features during the MLB Network’s Game of the Week. The Jayco Seneca was used inside and outside for on-air reports and interviews with players during the On Deck Circle, the network’s signature show featuring major league baseball highlights and analysis.

There were also teasers and promotional mentions of Go RVing and the “Home and Away Tour” on The Run Down and the MLB Network Game of the Week. This special promotion was inserted as a value-added element to Go RVing’s 2012 agreement with the MLB Network.

The Jayco Seneca, wrapped with visuals from the new Go RVing “Away” national advertising campaign as well as logos for, MLB Network and Jayco, will end its tour at the Detroit Tigers’ game this Friday against the Yankees.


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