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Ind. RV Execs Tout Industry’s Slow, Steady Rise

November 1, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

For the ninth straight month, RV shipments were up, posting a 12.7% gain in September. And, according to a report in the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, that’s good news for RV workers in Elkhart County.

Terry Slabach, CFO of KZRV LP in Shipshewana, noted, “I think we feel like slow, steady growth is better than really quick, accelerated growth. And that’s what we have seen.We’re happy with where we’re at this year.”

The RV industry, including RV manufacturers and suppliers, employs more than 24,000 people in Elkhart County. Northern Indiana builds 82% of all recreational vehicles in the United States, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

Both Slabach and Matt Bunner, vice president of operations for Robert Weed Plywood, an RV supplier, like the way 2013 looks, too.

“We see a fairly stable level of growth for this year into next year,” Bunner said. “About the same level, maybe a little bit higher for next year. Our customers are confident in the next year also. Unless something happens of a world-impact nature, we believe it’s going to be a good, solid year.”

Andy Baer, vice president of sales and marketing at KZRV, and Slabach do have some concerns with 2013, though.

“There are concerns out there with regard to the fiscal cliff … maybe less concern on the actual election process but what happens after the election process, and that affects the consumer psyche,” said Baer. “We’ve been fortunate as an industry. The consumer’s been extremely resilient and still showing an interest in RVing of any description.”

 

 

 

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Venture RV Rolling Out SportTrek at Open House

September 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

New SportTrek trailer from Venture RV

Shipshewana, Ind.-based Venture RV, a division of KZRV LP founded in July, will be displaying its new lightweight SportTrek travel trailer during next week’s Elkhart County RV Open House.

According to a press release, Venture RV will be showing product Sept. 17-20 at its display area just south of the intersection of County Road 6 and County Road 15 in Elkhart. The display will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. In addition, there will be product set up inside the Venture facility in Shipshewana.

“We will have eight units in Elkhart, including our newest floorplan innovation – a two bedroom unit with a queen- and king-size bed,” said Dave Boggs, director of marketing and sales for Venture RV. “It’s actually a versatile model and one of the bedrooms can be configured several ways to meet the consumer’s needs. This floorplan is less than 35-feet long and has several unique features. I’m sure it will be a big hit at the show.”

Boggs added, “It’s been a lot of fun creating the SportTrek. The Venture team has taken the stance on making good floorplans even better by adding user-friendly features to make camping even more enjoyable. Dealer reaction to the product has been phenomenal and has exceeded our expectations. Dealers in both U.S. and Canada have already seen success with retail sales in just a couple of days after the product has landed.”

The SportTrek travel trailer is available in seven floorplans ranging in lengths from 26 to 34 feet. It is equipped with up to two slideouts, enclosed underbelly and champagne-colored front and back wall. The affordable lightweight travel trailer can also be towed by today’s small crossovers, SUVs and light-duty trucks.

For more information visit www.venture-rv.com.

 

 

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KZRV Redefines StoneRidge Luxury Fifth-Wheel

September 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

KZ's StoneRidge fifth-wheel with black cherry partial paint

Shipshewana, Ind.-based towable builder KZRV LP has redefined its Stoneridge luxury fifth-wheel line with the introduction of new innovative features, interiors and exterior options.

According to a press release, the redesigned StoneRidge will make its debut during next week’s Elkhart County RV Open House at the company’s display at the corner of County Road 6 and County Road 15 in Elkhart.

The new StoneRidge fifth-wheel features a bold exterior that offers one standard exterior graphic package, two partial paint exteriors choices and two full-body paint options. Eight models range from 38 to 40 feet in length.

Nicely appointed with an MSRP around $61,295, StoneRidge fifth-wheels are also equipped with many standard features that other RV manufacturers offer only as options, including: true six-sided aluminum frame; fireplace; premium bedding package; 40- to 46-inch LCD TVs; ottoman; washer/dryer prep; 30-inch OTR microwave; 16-inch aluminum wheels; Corian counter tops and slam latch luggage doors.

Offering new floorplans and other industry-first features, the new StoneRidge has been “innovatively re-engineered to create a more home-like appearance,” according to KZ.

“‘As KZ’s luxury product, StoneRidge has always brought unmatched craftsmanship and functionality to their customers. Our team has created a high level of value to the new StoneRidge, designed for the experienced RVer that knows what they want from a luxury fifth-wheel,” said Product Manager Marlene Snyder .

The StoneRidge is covered by KZ RV’s two-year limited warranty. Also included is a one-year free membership in Coach-Net that provides 24/7 roadside assistance throughout the United States and Canada.

 

 

 

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KZRV Introduces Sandlewood Edition Durango

September 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

KZ's Durango Sandlewood Edition fifth-wheel

Shipshewana, Ind.-based KZRV LP has introduced the Durango Sandlewood Edition fifth-wheel, featuring an infused champagne full-body exterior. According to a press release, the new model is available in both the mid-profile Durango 1500 and full-profile Durango fifth-wheels.

The Sandlewood Edition is trimmed out with black accents and will have the newly redesigned Durango aerodynamic front cap. Available in over 20 floorplans, models range from 27 feet, 11 inches to 39 feet in length with weights running from 7,100 to 11,000 pounds. MSRP’s start around $37,900.

In addition, Durango fifth-wheels are covered by KZRV’s two-year warranty that protects against defects in materials and workmanship.

“We are excited to offer full-body color in the Durango line,” said Andy Baer, vice president of sales. “Durango has always brought unmatched craftsmanship and functionality to our customers. We will be introducing the Sandlewood Edition at the Elkhart County RV Open House.”

Baer added, “This year, KZ will be displaying product lines at two locations. Our primary location will be at County Road 6 and County Road 15 in Elkhart. As an added convenience, dealers are always welcome to view products at our corporate headquarters in Shipshewana.”

Dates for KZ’s fall open house are Sept. 17-20. For more information e-mail sales@kz-rv.com.

 

 

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KZRV Approves TCFIF on Floorplan Financing

August 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Shipshewana, Ind.-based KZRV LP announced that it has approved TCF Inventory Finance Inc. (TCFIF) as a floorplan finance provider in the U.S. and Canada.

According to a press release, TCFIF’s financing program will provide KZRV dealers with competitive rates, a flexible curtailment structure and dedicated customer service.

TCFIF is an indirect subsidiary of TCF Financial Corp., a Wayzata, Minnesota-based national bank holding company offering a full range of inventory financing solutions to RV manufacturers, distributors and dealers throughout the United States and Canada. The company serves several other industries including marine, power sports, lawn and garden, and consumer electronics and appliances, while also conducting commercial leasing and equipment finance business in all 50 states.

For more information, visit www.tcfif.com or call the TCFIF sales center at (877) 872-8234, prompt 2 (in the U.S.), or at (877) 800-4430 (in Canada).

 

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Jim Weiss to Head Venture RV’s Eastern Sales

August 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Jim Weiss

Venture RV, a division of Shipshewana, Ind.-based KZRV LP formed in July, has named Jim Weiss as regional sales manager.

According to a press release, Weiss joins Venture RV with 17 years of retail sales and management experience in the RV industry. In his new position, he will be responsible for sales of Venture’s line of lightweight travel trailers throughout the eastern United States.

“Jim is a key addition to the Venture RV team,” said Venture RV Director of Sales Dave Boggs. “His extensive experience in retail management along with his manufacturing sales experience will be beneficial to our dealers adds.”

Weiss noted, “I’m excited to be part of the Venture RV team. Venture RV offers customers a quality lightweight travel trailer with value added features at a great price point. It’s an awesome opportunity to be on the ground floor of an emerging new RV brand that’s bound to be a best seller.”

Weiss resides in Mooresville, N.C. and can be reached at (704)960-8178 or jweiss@venture-rv.com

 

Founded in July 2012, VENTURE RV builds light weight travel trailers focused on the active camping lifestyle. Venture RV is located in Shipshewana, Indiana and distributes its products through dealers across the United States and Canada. Venture RV is a division of KZ RV. More information is available online at www.venture-rv.com.

 

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KZRV’s New Venture Division Debuts SportTrek

July 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

New SportTrek trailer from KZRV

Venture RV, a new of division KZRV LP, Shipshewana, Ind., has introduced a lightweight laminated fiberglass SportTrek travel trailer intended to compete with entry-level “stick-and-tin” units.

“Venture RV gives KZ as a company the latitude to start fresh with something different than anything else,” said David Boggs, who will lead the new venture as director of marketing and sales. “Venture RV was formed to offer unique products to dealers in key markets on a volume basis.”

The new division, while located at KZRV’s Shipshewana manufacturing complex, will make the SportTrek independent of KZRV’s other operations. “It’s going to have a dedicated plant with separate engineering, sales and purchasing,” Boggs said.

Boggs said that Venture may share some KZRV dealers but that its dealership base also will be separate from KZRV.

The SportTrek, with a starting base MSRP of $21,000, well equipped, initially will be available with six 25- to 34-foot floorplans, all intended for towing behind light pickup trucks, SUVs and crossover vehicles. “The SportTrek is a valued positioned travel trailer that competes in the “Stick-n-Tin” market with the advantage of having a fiberglass exterior,” Boggs said.

SportTrek interior with entertainment center

Each will have a single slideout with one floorplan — the front-bedroom 340JS bunkhouse layout — designed with a rear wardrobe slide in the bunk area.

Standard features include champagne-colored front, rear and slideout ends, Beauflor linoleum, adjustable pantry, designer padded headboard, Comfort by Design residential-style furniture with “flipside” reversible cushions and AL-KO Auto Adjusting Brakes. Also standard are a heated and enclosed underbelly, EZ Water Management Control Panel, a hidden compartment called the Safe ‘T’ek Box located near the front door to store valuables along with a 110 outlet for charging electronic devices and a lighted triple-step entry door.

A 32-inch LED “smart” flat screen TV that can hookup to the Internet is optional.

Scot Robbins (srobbins@venture-rv.com) and Jim Weiss (jweiss@venture-rv.com) will be sales representatives for the SportTrek.

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KZ Marks 40th Birthday at Dealer Open House

May 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

KZ Vice President Andy Baer (left) visits with Jim and Sharon Walter, Countryside Campers, Pana, Ill.

There’s plenty of activity this week around the rural Shipshewana, Ind., facilities of KZRV LP, where some 70 U.S. and Canadian recreational vehicle dealers gathered for the towable RV builder’s 26th annual open house – this one a special salute to the privately held northern Indiana company’s 40th year in business.

In addition to an introduction to the company’s 2013 product lines, displayed this week all around KZ’s facilities on U.S. 20, the company’s dealer open house featured a Wednesday night (May 30) cruise on Lake Wawasee – Indiana’s largest natural lake – and was scheduled to culminate today with a brunch, dealer awards and banquet at the Essenhaus Country Inn in nearby Middlebury that includes a presentation by guest speaker Nathan Whitaker, co-author of books by sports celebrities Tim Tebow and Tony Dungy.

 

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KZRV Hires Boggs as New Director of Marketing

February 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

KZRV LP announced the hiring of Dave Boggs as director of marketing, a newly created position for the Shipshewana, Ind.-based towable builder.

According to a press release, Boggs previously served as director of marketing for CrossRoads/Redwood RV and brings more than 15 years of RV industry experience.

“We are very excited to have Dave join our company as the new director of marketing,” said Andy Baer, vice president of sales and marketing. “He has a wealth of experience and a tremendous amount of energy. His talents are sure to make this newly created director-level position a success.”

“I couldn’t be happier to join a company with the guiding principles of doing the right thing and treating people the way you want to be treated,” said Boggs. “KZ offers its customers great products backed by some of the best warranties in the industry.”

Boggs can be contacted by e-mail at dboggs@kz-rv.com.

 

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KZRV Designs Tri-Level Stone Ridge Fifth-Wheel

December 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

KZ's Stone Ridge 36UL with raised rear living area

Shipshewana, Ind.-based KZRV LP introduced the company’s first tri-level fifth-wheel in its Stone Ridge line during this week’s 49th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.

According to a press release, two floorplans – the 36UL and 36RK models – feature the traditional front-raised bedroom and lower middle section, but add a raised living room or kitchen and dining area in the rear that allows for super-sized basement storage space underneath.

“There’s never been anything like this in a KZ fifth-wheel,” stated Andy Baer, KZ’s vice president of sales and marketing. “With the Stone Ridge, customers can have towable RV basement storage as big as a motorhome’s.”

Baer said because the Stone Ridge market consists mostly of heavy users like snowbirds, that expanded storage will be a crucial selling point to those customers.

“We’re talking about people who use their RVs for at least half of the year,” he said. “These are affluent customers, retirees and couples who need motorhome-sized space for their belongings while still wanting the freedom of a tow vehicle to drive after they set up camp. They couldn’t easily have both before – but they can now.”

In addition to these groundbreaking new floorplans, the Stone Ridge line has been upgraded with several high-end elements that make it new and different while enhancing its residential feel, including more fireplaces, solid wood fascia and trim, and plush fabrics. Also new is the 36RK’s Antique Crème and two-tone Luxe Maple wood finishes and updated outdoor Bistro option – an upscale exterior kitchen complete with refrigerator, ice maker, swing-out LCD television and plenty of counter space.

Entertainment center in Stone Ridge 36UL

The 38FL model is another new floorplan, the company’s first-ever front living room fifth-wheel. The living area is accented by a wrought iron railing along its stairway and has a large 4Yahoo! 6-inch LCD television surrounded by a lavish entertainment center with fireplace below. The bedroom has a queen bed or optional king bed with a memory foam mattress and the bathroom has a large closet with washer/dryer capability.

“All of these changes were driven fully by dealer and customer feedback,” said Baer. “It’s that input that tells us precisely what people want and what they’ll buy, and therefore what our dealer partners can sell. And of course that makes everyone happy.”

While the Stone Ridge line is a deluxe fifth-wheel and the new generation boasts even more features and innovations than before, KZ said it also has a more appealing price point than others in its class.

For more information on KZRV products visit http://www.kz-rv.com/.

 

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