Komfort Corp. of Clackamas, Ore., will debut the Pacific Ridge line of travel trailers and fifth-wheels this week at the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Convention/Expo in Las Vegas, Nev.
Pacific Ridge includes four innovative travel trailer floorplans and four fifth-wheel floorplans that feature a five-way “Aluma-Kage” welded-aluminum laminated superstructure, a aerodynamic high gloss gel coat fiberglass front cap, “Thermal-max” all weather insulation package, Equa-flex suspension as well as a 6-inch radius ceiling, according to a news release.
According to Peter Kinden, vice president of sales for Komfort, “We spent the last few months working with our Komfort dealers to create a product that will stand apart from the cookie cutter products of today. In creating our new products, we are recreating our company and are keenly aware that our new products will be an indicator to Komfort dealers across the West of what our new products will stand for in the marketplace. The Pacific Ridge has been designed with features not in any other product and will be our flagship brand.”
Kinden added, “Pacific Ridge includes innovative features at a terrific value. In addition to our innovative exterior design, Pacific Ridge includes interior features that are usually only found in products at a higher price point. Solid surface countertops, 15,000 BTU AC, halogen lighting, 8- cubic-foot refrigerator, 80-inch island queen bed, Fantastic Fan and a oversized skylight with shade are just a few of the innovative features that will make Pacific Ridge a force in the market.”
Bob Schriever of Curtis RV recently previewed the product at Komfort and said, “We absolutely love the design of the new Pacific Ridge, First impressions are important and I feel that Pacific Ridge hits the wow factor dead on. It’s nice to see a manufacturer try something different and not just copy everybody else out there.” We can’t wait to introduce it to our customers.”
MSRP for travel trailers start at $26,500. MSRP for the largest unit, a 38-foot fifth-wheel still in the prototype stage, is $48,000.
Komfort Corp.was founded in 1967 and has been part of the Thor IndustriesInc. family since 1995. For more information on Komfort and its product lines, visit www.komfort-RV.com or contact Komfort sales at (503) 722-5199.
Big changes are afoot at Komfort Corp., the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary in Clakamas, Ore., according to a letter to the company’s dealers mailed out on Tuesday (June 29).
The crux of those changes, as stated in the letter from Dutchmen President Don Clark, who’s been overseeing Komfort operations since February, have to do with the firm’s senior management as well as the company’s overall product focus.
While John Atilla, former president, and Larry Smith, former national sales manager, are no longer with the company, Komfort has taken steps to bolster its management team with these additions:
- Shane Ott, the former president and COO of Montana-based Kampgrounds of America Inc. who’s been named vice president of operations. Ott joined Thor last year as director of campground relations with the goal of increasing the penetration of Thor brands of park models and destination trailers as rental units in campgrounds.
- Grace Colton, a “veteran in the finance world heading up similar roles of both private and publicly traded companies throughout northern Oregon,” who’s been named vice president of finance for Komfort.
- Peter Kinden, the former general manager of Stiers RV, Bakersfield, Calif., whose arrival as vice president of sales and product development was announced this spring.
“We are extremely fortunate to have these three new talented executives in the company,” Clark told RVBUSINESS.com, “and I’m excited to see the momentum that they can create within the new Komfort. They are running the day-to-day operations and have already made huge strides forward in upgrading the company’s structure as well as defining the new products that will soon be hitting the market.”
Clark in his letter alerts dealers to a letter they’ll be receiving soon from Kinden outlining an all-new Komfort product offering that should help the company achieve its goal of becoming “the leading Western manufacturer of travel trailers and fifth-wheels.”
“Many of you have stood by Komfort over the years and some have recently joined us,” he adds. “I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback upon receiving Komfort’s new and exciting products.”
Peter Kinden, former general manager of Stiers RV, Bakersfield, Calif., has been named vice president of sales for Komfort Corp., a towable RV manufacturer based in Clackamas, Ore. In his new position, Kinden will manage all sales, marketing and product development for the Thor Industries Inc. division, according to a letter sent early this week (April 19) to Komfort’s 90 dealers by Thor Group President Ron Fenech.
As part of the transition, former Komfort President John Attilla remains with the company, but he’s stepping down from the top job. Komfort operations are now the direct responsibility of Don Clark, president of Thor’s Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. subsidiary in Goshen, Ind.
“I would like to be open about what we see at Komfort,” Fenech wrote in the dealer letter. “Over the past few years, Komfort has lost its way. We have not been providing our dealers with the competitive products nor the responsive service that will allow us to be the dominant RV brand in the West. And that is going to change.
“The Komfort team has the basics in place to move quickly in getting us going in the right direction,” added Fenech, “and these changes are just the beginning. We at Thor are very committed to the Komfort brand and will be investing to return Komfort to the No. 1 name in the Western states, as it has been in the past.”
Although Clark will not have a Komfort title, Fenech told RVBUSINESS.com that “when appropriate” a new Komfort leader will be appointed who “will continue to report to Don Clark.”
The move comes as a number of companies appear to be positioning for West Coast market share in anticipation of the post-recession era, even though the current state of the marketplace out West continues to be “tough,” said Fenech. “The Northwest is strong, but the Southwest still has its challenges,” he said. “All in all, everything is getting better out West.”
Dutchmen has a manufacturing facility in Burley, Idaho, where the company builds entry-level, wood-and-aluminum travel trailers, while Komfort is located near Portland, Ore. Together, says Fenech, the two plants are well positioned to service the West. “Don understands the western market and will bring a lot of good direction to Komfort,” he added. “And there are efficiencies to be gained between Komfort and Dutchmen, and that will be good for both Dutchmen and Komfort dealers.”
Editor’s Note: This is a review written by Jeff Johnston. His Motor Matter column runs in the Washington Times and other newspapers. He also is a contributor to RVBusiness.
It isn’t often that an RV industry development can be called “revolutionary” without bringing to mind “As Seen on TV” hyperbole. In the case of the new SatelLite trailer from Komfort Corp., that description could be right on the money.
The SatelLite is built using a new plastic-like composite material called Eco Composite (EC), which replaces much of the wood and other materials used in traditional RV construction. Advantages to the use of EC are a lighter RV, translating into fuel savings, greater strength for longer-term durability and a significant reduction of vehicle damage from leaks or other water intrusion. Those features add up to a better long-term investment.
EC has been around for a while and has been used in other products. In a much thicker configuration it’s a type of commercial armor used in assorted bulletproofing security applications. Even in RV use any surface that incorporates EC is highly resistant to punctures and impact damage – and that can save the costly repair of an RV built using standard materials.
Water leaks and the resulting wood rot are the primary causes of RV damage. When wood components, like roof decking or wall backers, are removed and replaced by EC (a completely waterproof material), it reduces the chance that leaks around windows or rooftop components can lead to expensive repairs later on. Chalk up another one for investment value.
We toured a SatelLite at George M. Sutton RV in Eugene, Ore., and salesman Terry Thiesfeld explained the features of the nearly 30-foot SatelLite model 299RB, one of five SatelLite models.
Other than some cabinet framing, there is very little wood used to build the SatelLite. Its roof, walls and floor all feature aluminum frames with polystyrene insulation and vacuum-laminated assembly techniques – but that’s where the similarity to other RVs ends.
The 299RB weighs about 5,100 pounds dry, which is pretty remarkable for a rig that’s just under 30 feet long. The usual EPDM rubber, fiberglass or aluminum roof skin is replaced by EC with no wood underlayment, and the interior ceiling is likewise EC.
RV users should experience minimal maintenance chores with the EC roof, which the manufacturer claims it’s 100-percent UV stable. This should result in no sidewall-staining chalking or black streaking, as can happen with other materials.
Not only is the EC roof UV-resistant, it’s also a single sheet of material so there are no seams to leak. All of the EC in this rig comes from a large roll of material so any component using the EC is seamless, which adds considerable strength – that’s a good idea for a product that sees rugged uses common to RV activities.
An exterior skin of extra-smooth gelcoat fiberglass with a Kevlar-like backing material is laminated to a layer of EC that in turn is adhered to the wall framing. A different composite material with a decorative finish covers the interior wall surfaces.
Due to the concentrated stress of occupants walking inside, a layer of thin lauan plywood is used as a backer for the EC on the floor. This is topped with decorative vinyl flooring. EC is also used on the lower floor frame surface as an underbelly. Not only is the EC waterproof, as are the other materials used for RV underbelly skins, it’s also a structural component, a strong material choice for this application.
Many pieces of interior woodwork, including the cabinet doors and drawer fronts and the trim around the slideout room, are plastic moldings instead of wood. The moldings are much lighter than wood and very durable in addition to looking classy.
This type of construction doesn’t come cheap – the 299RB we toured was stickered at $37,052. That price includes almost no options, as the trailer comes with a long list of standard equipment, including the 27-inch LCD TV, custom aluminum wheels, stabilizer jacks, dark-tinted safety glass, a glass-top range, blackwater tank flush system and other features.
Its floorplan is popular with travel trailer buyers and features a forward island queen bed, aft-end bath, streetside slideout with the kitchen and sofa/bed and a large curbside U-shaped dinette.
Its 5,100-pounds mean the SatelLite can be safely towed by a wide range of half-ton-rated pickups or medium-sized SUVs, meaning many families are already set with a tow vehicle.
As designers become more familiar with the materials, the use of composites is growing among RV manufacturers. The SatelLite is a good early example of what the next generation of RVs may bring.
Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary Komfort Corp., based in Clackamas, Ore., has added 16 new dealerships and delivered initial products to them this spring. “Our redesigned Trailblazer ‘Residence Edition’ product (shown at left) has been a huge hit with prospective dealers from Southern California and Arizona to Western Canada,” said Jerry Sell, sales manager. The Residence Edition travel trailer features color-coordinated fabrics and strategically placed colored wall panels to reflect the current two-tone wall themes popular in homes, he said. All Trailblazer products feature aluminum-framed sidewalls and gelcoat fiberglass exteriors, aluminum alloy wheels, power awnings, living room skylights and many other amenities. “The look is definitely high end and is dramatically different from the traditional look of a travel trailer,” said John Attila, Komfort president and originator of the Residence Edition interior. “We have also expanded this unique look into an entry-level fiberglass product called the Trailblazer LE. The dealer response has been overwhelming,” he said. Sell anticipates adding 10 new dealers in the coming weeks. MSRP on the regular Trailblazer is $21,000 and $17,800 for the LE.