Goshen, Ind.-based Keystone RV Co. announced today (Aug. 26) the launch of a $250,000 scholarship program for Keystone and Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. dealers in conjunction with the RVIA/RVDA technician training program. According to a press release, the initiative is designed to help assure the availability of certified RV technicians now and into the future.
Randy Mast, Keystone vice president of customer service, noted, “Our substantial commitment emphasizes the importance we place on certified technicians to customer satisfaction and the long term success of our industry. Keystone’s experience has shown that well educated technicians diagnose and perform repairs correctly the first time leading to less down time for the customer and few returns for repeat repairs. A satisfied customer results in repeat sales for Keystone and our approximately 900 dealers throughout the United States and Canada.”
Keystone said that the creation of this scholarship fund is welcome news for the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA).
“One can only stand up and applaud exemplary leadership demonstrated by Keystone and Dutchmen,” said RVDA Chairman Jeff Hirsch, owner of Campers Inn. “Recognizing the importance of certified and re-certified technicians, they have made an investment on behalf of their customers. Our livelihoods are hinged on a good customer experience.
Matt Zimmerman, president of Keystone and Dutchmen, has committed $250,000 to their dealer network to further educate technicians. I believe this shows extraordinary vision on behalf of our industry.”
Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) president Richard Coon added, “RVIA has worked tirelessly in pursuit of expanding the number of certified RV technicians across the RV industry, and this new scholarship program announced by Keystone and Dutchmen for their dealers is exciting news and a huge boost to our industry’s efforts. This is an unprecedented show of manufacturer support for the industry’s Recreation Vehicle Service Training (RVST) program, and hopefully it will spur others to pursue similar initiatives.”
Applications will be accepted September 3, 2013 through October 4, 2013. Contact Keystone RV at (877) 886-7783 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goshen, Ind.-based Keystone RV Co. announced today (Aug. 19) the appointment of Josh Staley as product manager for the Laredo line of travel trailers and fifth-wheels. Formally district sales manager for Keystone Raptor, Staley is an eight-year industry veteran.
“I am excited to take over leadership of this popular Keystone brand,” Staley said in a press release. “Laredo’s ‘Life Size Lightweight’ message is resonating well with our dealers and retail customers. We will continue to focus on features that are important like bigger refrigerators, taller ceilings, residential showers, bigger beds and larger TVs and bundle them with what is one of the strongest travel trailer floorplan lineups in the industry.”
Laredo currently offers eight travel trailer floorplans, eight full-sized fifth-wheels, and five Super Lite fifth-wheels.
“Thanks to our strong dealer network Laredo is experiencing significant sales increases with year-to-date growth in excess of 20%,” Staley said. “My goal is to continue this growth and expand Laredo’s success. At the September Open House our dealers will be thrilled with industry-first floorplans and exciting interior and exterior changes.”
Staley resides in Goshen with his wife Heather and two children.
Responding to record retail sales in its Hideout/Retreat travel trailer lines, Goshen, Ind.-based Keystone RV Co. is adding two salespeople to “better serve the growing dealer accounts.”
According to a press release, the brand has enjoyed an approximately 30% increase in retail sales year-to-date. To keep pace, Scott Taylor joins Keystone’s Hideout/Retreat sales team as district sales manager for the southwest. Taylor comes to Keystone with 10 years of automotive and RV sales experience.
Also joining the Hideout/Retreat team is Northwest District Sales Manager Mike McGuire, a 10-year industry veteran.
“Scott and Mike have strong backgrounds in retail sales and financing, which relates extremely
well with our dealers,” says Hideout Product Manager Jason Gill. “Both have similar qualities when it comes to meeting customers’ needs and both are strong competitors. These strengths will be a great asset to their dealers in their efforts to increase Hideout/Retreat sales.”
Taylor lives in Goshen while McGuire resides in Fresno, Calif.
Keystone reported that Hideout/Retreat will introduce more than 11 new floorplans at this year’s Elkhart County RV Open House, set to run Sept. 17-19. Keystone will again be part of Thor Industries Inc.’s expansive display at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart.
Keystone RV Co.’s Bullet ultra-lite travel trailer brand continues to expand with retail sales climbing 25.5% and market share up 16.5% year-to-date, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.’s April 2013 results.
“Not only are sales and market share climbing, but Bullet is now the No. 1 selling travel trailer in the $20,000 to $25,000 price range,” said Bullet Product Manager Brian Hyde in a press release. “At this price point we are competing with older and more established brands and we are coming out on top.”
According to Hyde, two new floorplans are helping fuel Bullet’s growth. With a dry weight of 5,700 pounds, the Bullet 298BHS is easily half-ton and full-size SUV towable yet offers sleeping capacity to accommodate up to 10 children and adults.
Another key floorplan for Bullet lineup is the Premier 32BHPR. “The entertainment center literally occupies one full wall of the coach and features a 46-inch LCD TV, multi-function electronics, 10 storage compartments and smoked-glass mullion cabinet doors,” Hyde said. “Like all Bullet Premiers, the interior is highlighted with upgraded furniture, 7-foot tall arched ceilings and 8-cubic foot refrigerators. The gel-coat color-infused front cap, frameless windows and outdoor kitchen on the 32BHPR are definite attention grabbers.”
Hyde attributes Bullet’s success to dealers’ enthusiasm and commitment to the brand. “From the day we launched Bullet four years ago we have focused on delivering ultra-lite towability combined with eye-catching appearance and generous accommodations,” he said. “Our dealers and retail customers have embraced the Bullet message. Best of all, we are not done yet.”
Bullet will unveil new features and floorplans during Elkhart County Open House Week in September at Keystone’s display at the RV/MH Hall of Fame.
Building off of a successful first year, Keystone RV Co. again welcomes Big Brothers Big Sisters of Elkhart County to a weekend of RV camping at Twin Mills Camping Resort on June 14-16.
According to a press release, the Kamp Keystone event will offer children (‘Littles’) and their mentors (‘Bigs’) the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in comfort through the use of Keystone campers.
Kamp Keystone was started in 2007 as a way for employees to actually use and enjoy the RVs they manufacture, while providing valuable product feedback to the company. Last year Keystone decided to take it a step further by inviting Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Keystone President Matt Zimmerman says Kamp Keystone is another way for the company to give back to the community. “Response from our employees and the community to last summer’s Big Brothers/Big Sisters camp out was overwhelmingly positive,” he said. “Throwing the doors open again this year enables us to do even more. As the father of two young boys, I personally believe camping with your family is one of the best investments you can make. Through Kamp Keystone we expect to make a positive contribution in these young people’s lives.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters Executive Director Stephanie Patka noted, “The strength of the BBBS program lies within the opportunities where ‘Bigs’ can be a positive example to their ‘Littles.’ These experiences are enhanced when ‘Littles’ are exposed to things that they never even knew existed.
“For many of our ‘Littles,’ Kamp Keystone will be their first exposure to camping with activities like hiking, fishing, swimming and roasting marshmallows. We are thrilled to partner with Keystone and believe this weekend will result in a tremendous experience for our ‘Littles’ that will last a lifetime.”
Combined retail market share for Keystone RV Co.’s Sprinter has grown by 19% this year with fifth-wheel market share climbing 62%, according to the March report by Statistical Surveys Inc. According to a press release, Sprinter’s fifth-wheel gain is the strongest of any Top 20 brand in the marketplace.
Product Manager Josh Miller credits Sprinter dealers for the brand’s incredible results., noting, “As Keystone’s very first brand, we have had the privilege of building strong relationships over the course of 17 years with many of our dealers. Their feedback and support have been truly amazing. They have given generously of their time in conveying to us the importance of our ‘Camping Made Easy’ message as well as what they feel we need to do to keep Sprinter strong into the future. “
Adds Miller, “Based on retail sales numbers and what we hear from our dealers, we feel very positive about where the Sprinter line is today and our ability to sustain success for years to come.”
Keystone senior management is also confident about Sprinter’s ongoing success. “The brand will continue to evolve and improve,” noted Keystone General Manager Ryan Juday, who served as a Sprinter district sales manager when he began his career with Keystone over 10 years ago. “The Sprinter of today is an unbelievable value in the market. The most recent Stat Surveys numbers prove this. Josh and our team have been hard at work and will roll out some unbelievable new Sprinter’s at Open House this fall.”
Keystone will be displaying at the RV/MH Hall of Fame during the Elkhart County RV Open House, scheduled for Sept. 17-19.
Keystone RV Co.’s Laredo is targeting a fast growing segment of the RV market as it continues to add half-ton towable, lightweight travel trailers to its product line. According to a press release, the latest installment is Laredo’s new 30-foot 274RB island kitchen travel trailer.
“What we’ve done here at Laredo is roll out some fantastic floorplans with our ‘Life-Size Lightweight’ package,” says Product Manager Adam Smith. “We’ve put together a list of features that are important to our customers — including bigger refrigerators, taller ceilings, residential showers, bigger beds and larger TV’s — and bundled them with what is probably the strongest travel trailer floorplan lineup out there.”
Smith said that Laredo’s three new floorplans cater to customers who need a lightweight option, but something a little nicer and well appointed than the “ultra-light” offerings currently on the market.
“The 274RB is loaded with features, but the floorplan is what will really turn heads. This floorplan lives large, even though it is only 30-feet in length.” Smith added.
The large master bathroom in the rear of the unit features a 50-inch residential shower, large linen closet and an upgraded porcelain toilet. The kitchen includes a large island with huge sink and pull-down faucet, abundant storage with several drawers and cabinets, and several outlets throughout. The living room boasts a 40-inch LED TV, and the bedroom includes a Laredo staple – the 6-foot 8-inch pillow top mattress.
Keystone General Manager Kyle Kwasny noted, “We intend to make quite a splash at Open House this year. Laredo has some game-changing floorplans on the docket, and I fully expect they’ll continue to fuel Laredo’s growth.
For more information on Laredo’s “Life-Size Lightweight” floorplans, visit www.keystonerv.com/laredo.
Lured out of “retirement” by the opportunity to oversee some of the industry’s top-selling brands, RV veteran and former Heartland RV LLC co-founder Tim Hoffman was named as a new general manager at Goshen, Ind.-based Keystone RV Co.
According to a press release, Hoffman takes leadership of Keystone’s Montana, Outback and Fuzion product lines and will spearhead new innovations to ensure these brands remain at the forefront of their respective product categories.
Known for ground-breaking product introductions and close dealer relations, Hoffman brings a depth of experience to the Keystone family, according to Keystone President Matt Zimmerman. “We already had a strong, talented team in place at Keystone,” said Zimmerman. “Attracting Tim makes us even stronger and provides us with a new perspective. With the addition of Tim and other recent leadership changes, our dealers can expect an Open House like never before. I’m excited to show them what we have in store.”
Hoffman noted, “I have followed the industry closely and am excited to see all the growth in the marketplace. What attracted me most to Keystone was the opportunity to join an organization with strong backend support, quality people and the best dealers in the industry. I have a lot of ideas and thoughts on how to continue advancing the No. 1 selling high profile fifth-wheel in the nation, Montana, along with one of the most recognized brands in the industry in Outback and a resurging Fuzion toy hauler. I am excited to share these with our Keystone dealers.”
Marcia Maslyn, a Clifton Springs, N.Y., camper, is taking a delayed delivery on her trailer built by Keystone RV Co. after learning last October that she was the grand prize winner in Kampgrounds of America Inc.’s (KOA) 50th Anniversary Giveaway Contest.
According to a press release, she decided to hold off on taking possession of the $40,000 RV since winter was on its way and the camping season was over in Upstate New York. Maslyn, whose name was drawn from more than 120,000 entries, will take possession of her new Keystone trailer on April 25 at 11 a.m. at the Colton RV Center in North Tonawanda, N.Y.
On hand when Maslyn gets her new RV will be Robert and Rachel Kaiser, owners of the Medina/Wildwood Lake KOA Campground in Medina, N.Y. The Kaisers were the ones who informed Maslyn of her big win last fall.
“It will be fun to see Marcia tour in her new RV for the first time,” said Robert Kaiser. “And we can’t wait to host their first camping trip in their new RV. They are going to have a lot of good times for years to come.”
Entries are currently being taken for the 2013 Great KOA Giveaway that will award a new $40,000 Keystone Cougar RV and a decade of free KOA camping in October. Weekly winners are also being drawn all summer. Enter to win at KOA’s Facebook site, Keystone RV’s Facebook site, or go to www.KOA.com.
Strong first-quarter retail shows coupled with aggressive dealer orders have created growing demand for Keystone RV Co.’s Laredo travel trailers, fifth-wheels and super-light fifth-wheels, according to a news release.
To meet this demand, Keystone is ramping up production at its new Laredo facility while continuing to produce the brand in existing plants. Laredo Product Manager Adam Smith reported the retooled manufacturing facility is gradually getting on stream with full production to begin in the second quarter.
Smith noted the Laredo line has undergone a complete facelift over the past year with all new exteriors, interiors and 13 all-new floorplans.
“We felt it was time to really reposition the product at a place where the growth was happening in our segment,” he said. “Higher-end features along with style in the mid-profile and laminated trailer market is where the market is exploding. People want creature features and Laredo gives it to them.”
Smith said that an emphasis in the Laredo’s remodel was adding room and convenience with “life-sized features across the entire model line.”
Depending on the model, features include industry-leading 60-inch showers, king beds, 42-inch TVs, double-door refrigerators and 7-foot vaulted ceilings. In addition, Laredo has introduced new and innovative models to round out its floorplan offerings, targeting buyers interested in smaller travel trailers with models ranging from 27 feet up to 36 feet and weights as low as 5,300 pounds.
“This is a major reason for our success,” said Smith. “Customers don’t have many choices when looking for a smaller but well equipped travel trailer or fifth-wheel,” Smith said. “Laredo now gives them not just one choice, like most brands, but multiple choices. We are committed to giving our dealer partners and mutual customers something out of the ordinary.”