Fifth-wheel builder DRV Luxury Suites reported strong retail sales and growing market share in early 2013, according to a press release.
The high-line builder of the Mobile Suites, Mobile Suites Estates, Elite Suites and Tradition brands posted its best January and February retail sales since the Great Recession, according to retail registrations as compiled by Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Statistical Surveys Inc.
“We’re ecstatic about the reception we’re getting in the marketplace right now,” said DRV Product Manager Rocky Holman. “The new styles and features we began implementing late last summer are being really well received by retail customers and we’re seeing that in increased retail registration and orders.”
Through February, Statistical Surveys showed DRV up 44% in retail sales and 26% in overall market share compared to 2012.
Holman attributed the success to the Howe, Ind.-based company’s use of true residential standard features like Whirlpool residential refrigerators, GE convection microwaves, dishwashers, garbage disposals, solid surface and quartz countertops, and two-tone decors. Other standard amenities include Lane furniture, Shaw flooring, soft-close drawers, ceramic tile and stone backsplashes, more floorplans with full size showers, 3 1/4-inch thick sidewalls, high density wool insulation, water manifold and four season insulation.
In the four seasons, luxury fifth-wheel category with units retailing for $85,000 and above, DRV reported it held a market share of over 70%, according to Statistical Surveys.
Holman reports that while DRV is proud of the growth they’ve seen in sales and the firm’s ability to bring to market products desired and appreciated by consumers, DRV is not taking any time off to celebrate.
“We’re already hard at work to continue and add to the improvements we started last summer,” he said. “We’re expecting to knock a lot of people’s socks off come Open House.”
DRV is currently signing new dealers in open territories. For more information please contact the National Sales Manager Kyle Miller at email@example.com or (260) 562-1075.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will join executives from Grand Design RV Thursday (April 18) at the company’s manufacturing complex in Middlebury, Ind., for 2 p.m. announcement regarding hundreds of new jobs.
The South Bend Tribune reported that the startup towable builder, which has been in business for about four months, celebrated both the hiring of its 100th employee and the making of its 100th RV on March 19. At that celebration, company officials said another line would be added in the near future which would mean more jobs.
The company currently builds the Solitude, an extended-stay, luxury fifth-wheel trailer. Grand Design officials also have said they envision the company eventually reaching 500 employees.
Redwood RV has launched its new website, www.redwoodrv.com, designed to “embody the manufacturer’s forward-thinking vision and commitment to the growing needs of its customers and dealers,” according to a press release.
The site’s homepage features a fresh design that offers better usability and navigation, allowing visitors to quickly find the information they are seeking.
“We are very pleased with the look, feel and usability of our new website and think our customers and dealers will be pleased as well,” said Marketing Manager Kathy Fuller. “This launch lays the groundwork for ongoing evolution and expansion with new features and improvements being made continually, and it captures our ‘Baby-Boomer Nation’ market theme in a more concise way.”
In addition to full product descriptions, photo galleries and 360-degree interior videos, the site offers a media area that will provide dealers and industry professionals with the ability to get logos, product photography and floorplans instantly for print, web use and other applications.
Founded in August 2010, Syracuse, Ind.-based Redwood RV, a Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary, focuses exclusively on building luxury fifth-wheels designed for full-time living.
Luxury towable builder Redwood RV reported that the introduction of its 38GK fifth-wheel has been well received in the retail marketplace since its January debut at the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa.
According to a press release, the 38GK features a fresh, innovative kitchen and living room area, a dynamic bed/bath setting along with Redwood’s exclusive slide-in-slide technology to create a spacious floorplan.
“We were able to utilize our exclusive slide-in-slide technology to create motorhome depth in a fifth-wheel,” said Dan Tauer, product manager for the Syracuse, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary. “This extra slide allows for 20 extra inches of space in the bedroom, something no other fifth-wheel offers. Hence the early season success.”
In the living room, a 55-inch LED TV sits across from the two recliners, and an optional TV placed above those chairs offers TV viewing from the kitchen area. The residential kitchen is equipped with all of Redwood’s mainstay features, including spice racks, plate drawers, 13-gallon trash cans, and two floor-to-ceiling pull-out pantries.
“As soon as the initial seven-drawer pull-out pantry became one of the Redwood ‘go-to’ features, we knew we needed to eventually offer a floorplan that could have two of these incredible storage areas in the same kitchen,” said Tom Montague, Redwood general manager.
The 38GK also offers two bathroom vanities, up to four TVs and several of Redwood’s core standard build items including Level Up, flush mounted windows, and whisper quiet AC.
Redwood also recently released initial plans to debut the “Carriage” brand name of ultra-luxury fifth wheels to the industry, as soon as this summer.
“Redwood is our cake, and we want Carriage to be the icing,” said Tauer, adding, “We are blessed to have one successful fifth-wheel in our lineup and hopefully soon we’ll have the ultra-luxury market in our favor as well.”
Peterson Industries Inc. announced the addition of three retailers to its national dealer body, carrying the Smith Center, Kan.-based manufacturer’s luxury lineup of Excel fifth-wheels.
According to a press release, new retailers include:
• Bennett’s Camping Center of Granbury, Texas, offering a well stocked parts store as well as a first-class service facility.
• Rapid City, S.D.-based Dakota RV, with more than 60 years of combined experience in the RV industry.
• Dee’s RV, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., is a 40-plus year retailer that recently opened a new location in Colorado Springs featuring an extensive parts store and multiple service bays.
In the release Peterson stated, “As the premier manufacturer of luxury RVs, we like to align ourselves with dealerships who share the same philosophy for customer care as we do.”
The Excel brand includes the Limited, Winslow and Wild Cargo lines. For more information visit http://www.excelrvs.com/.
The 2013 model year may well be one of the more impressive cycles in terms of market-ready and eye-catching new RVs from the North American recreational vehicle business. For that reason, however, the RVBusiness staff faced an intimidating task in selecting one unit over and above the rest this week (Nov. 27-29) at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., to best exemplify the industry’s 2013 lineup as our “Best of Show” designee.
In other words, there were no units so novel or preposterously different — no reinvention of the wheel, so to speak — that the show buzz dictated their selection.
So, we had to really step back and choose a unit that we felt best symbolized the general progressive sophistication of the industry’s product design, a unit that projects the overall spit-and-polish of the North American RV industry. And, long story short, we rather quickly reached a consensus on a fifth-wheel unit that is not only impressive for its design and elegant looks, but also for the revered high-line brand name it is reintroducing to the market after a hiatus of several years: the 32- to 40-foot Holiday Rambler Presidential fifth-wheel from Elkhart, Ind.-based Navistar Towables.
“Presidential is a venerable name in the business,” noted Matt Buckman, director of sales and product development for the Navistar division. “It is the name that most personifies Holiday Rambler in the towable market over the years. It’s been off the market for the past several years and we are reintroducing the Presidential back to its glory in the business as a luxury high-end fifth-wheel. We worked to refine the premium feel and look.”
Indeed, the Holiday Rambler Presidential brand harkens back to a day when Holiday Rambler was a towable leader and a signature brand of Richard Klingler’s privately held Holiday Rambler Corp. in Wakarusa, Ind., long before the brand was marketed by Harley-Davidson Inc. and, now, global truck-and-engine-builder Navistar International Corp.
But it’s not just the name that made the difference for us with regard to the Presidential, which, with MSRPs of $79,000 to $125,000, retails for much less than pre-recessionary, luxury class high-lines. As one of an elite group of chic new U.S.-built fifth-wheels led by Keystone’s Montana, Jayco’s Pinnacle, Heartland’s Cyclone, Gulf Stream’s Canyon Trail, CrossRoads’ Rushmore, Dutchmen’s Voltage, Evergreen’s Bay Hill, DRV’s Mobile Suites and Forest River’s Trilogy, among others, however, Navistar has done a lot of things right with its reprise of the Presidential fifth-wheel.
“We went to five Holiday Rambler RV Owners Club rallies and sat down with existing Presidential owners to find out what amenities and design elements they wanted to see in the new Presidential,” explained Craig Swisher, vice president, operations, for Navistar Towables. “You can see evidence of their influence throughout the coach, even in details like a rubber glove dispenser in our outside utility center/docking station and in the storage drawers under the bed in the front bedroom so that you don’t have to lift the bed up to access everything underneath.”
Other aspects of the Presidential drawing praise from RVB:
• A unique chassis engineered by Navistar and built by Lippert including a custom rounded, welded front end affording tighter turning radiuses, an unusual aerodynamic front cap and incredible outside storage.
• A standard MOR/ryde RE 4000 suspension with an optional MOR/ryde IS independent suspension with hydraulic disc brakes.
• Aluminum-framed, full-body painted sidewalls featuring an additional foam insulation layer all the way around, creating an extra sound and temperature barrier.
• Elegant interiors with stained maple cabinetry, an island kitchen and padded, radius living area ceilings providing 8 feet, 11 inches of headroom. “There’s no wasted space,” said Buckman, adding that interiors feature a custom kitchen that looks like a luxury hotel, a bathroom with tiered countertops and a 60-inch-tall, two-person shower plus a multi-level living area housing a 46-inch LED TV and Lane residential furniture. “It feels like a high-end diesel motorhome when you walk in there,” Swisher said.
Again, however, it wasn’t any one thing — but the entire package — that led to our naming Navistar’s impressive Holiday Rambler Presidential as our “2013 Best of Show.” Also capturing our attention was:
• Canadian builder Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd.’s first B-Plus style Class C motorhome, the Pleasure-Way Pursuit, built on Ford E350 dual rear-wheel cutaway chassis with a number of “special features,” including its 22-foot length.
“Building a B-plus was the next natural progression for us,” said Dean Rumpel, CEO of Saskatoon-based Pleasure-Way. “We received a lot of feedback from customers who love what we do but wished the Class B motorhome was just a little larger. The Pursuit is going to meet the needs of the consumer who doesn’t want to go up to a 24-foot motorhome but wants a little more than a traditional Class B.”
The Pursuit is constructed with a full-steel cage that is welded together along with a one-piece seamless fiberglass roof. All fiberglass is bonded directly to the steel which eliminates the need for additional screws and moldings.
The interior of the coach is set off by the use of rich hardwood maple throughout, including the fluted molding, custom solid wood cabinet doors and hand-fitted crown moldings. Rich ultraleather encompasses the rear lounge, while the spacious bathroom showcases a beautiful Corian and glass curved corner shower and also features a skylight, maple cabinetry with crown moldings, a Corian vanity with matching Corian backsplash, porcelain toilet and a stainless steel sink complete with a waterfall single lever faucet.
• Airstream’s newest concept trailer, the Land Yacht, featuring a high-luster teak and white wood inlay boat deck flooring, LED panel lighting elements, Corian solid surfaces and plush Ultraleather. The unit, capable of sleeping up to five people, has a bedroom in the front, a bathroom amidships and a rear social space, which includes a galley that can be hidden when not in use. The Land Yacht’s powered bed lift reveals access to hidden storage. The contemporary look was created by Tecnoform’s engineering department in partnership with Mauro Micheli, the long-time designer for Riva Yachts.
Middlebury, Ind.-based LIFESTYLE Luxury RV will cap off an exciting year when it unveils several innovative and improved product features in its luxury fifth-wheel lineup at next week’s 50th annual National RV Trade Show, Nov. 27-29 in Louisville, Ky. According to a news release, LIFESTYLE will be located at Booth No. 3549, North Wing, Hall 3 of the Kentucky Exposition Center.
Features on display in Louisville underscoring LIFESTYLE Luxury RV’s commitment to quality and cutting-edge technology include:
• Residential refrigerator.
• All LED interior lighting package.
• “Cabernet Pearl” full-body paint.
• Painted front cap – partial paint.
• Samsung 50-inch LED TV with Televator.
• Electric cooktop.
• TRC electric marine cord reel
• RVP/Coleman MACH 8 Low-Pro A/C units.
“We have experienced a very exciting year as we’ve generated positive responses among dealers and consumers through the introduction of several new floorplans and models,” explained Greg Kitson, director of engineering and product development for LIFESTYLE Luxury RV, a division of EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC.
“We’ve seen great enthusiasm among dealers and consumers throughout the year, and we are building on that enthusiasm and excitement by continuing to bring the best in luxury fifth-wheel travel to the market,” added Elliott Bond, LIFESTYLE’s national sales manager.
Based on the this year’s strong response, the builder said it is increasing production to meet growing demand among both dealers and consumers.
For more information on LIFESTYLE Luxury RV, its current floorplans, as well as standard and optional features, visit www.LifestyleLRV.com.
Four-season, luxury fifth-wheel builder DRV Luxury Suites will be rolling out new looks, features and industry-first floorplans and decors during the National RV Trade Show, Nov. 27-29 in Louisville, Ky.
According to a press release, DRV will be showcasing its “residential-style” fifth-wheel lineup that includes the Mobile Suites, Mobile Suites Estates, Elite Suites and Tradition brands.
“Dealers come to Louisville wondering what’s going to give them that ‘Oh, wow’ moment,” said Rocky Holman, product manager for the Howe, Ind.-based builder. “We’ve got the ‘Oh, wow’ for them all day long. Over the past couple of years there’s been a lot of talk about a void in the residential luxury fifth-wheel market. We had it covered then, and we’ve got it covered now.”
Holman said DRV will be introducing a host of new home-like features such as standard residential refrigerators, dishwashers, garbage disposals, Lane furniture, Shaw flooring, solid-surface and quartz countertops, and soft close drawers. Other amenities include real-tile backsplashes, 48- and 60-inch showers, integrated fender skirts, straight fiberglass roof lines and larger LED TVs.
The DRV/Cruiser RV display will be in Booth No. 5309 in the West Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center. “We’re right next to Prime Time and across from Keystone and Open Range, so we know we’re in a great high traffic spot,” said Holman. “Dealers are going to be amazed at what they see.”
Holiday Rambler will be showing an all-new Presidential luxury fifth-wheel to dealers at next week’s Elkhart County RV Open House in northern Indiana.
“This product is being brought back to market at the request of current owners and Holiday Rambler RV Owners Club members,” said Matt Buckman, director of sales for the Navistar RV Towable Division, in a press release. “In fact, we spent time at four club rallies this spring with existing owners going over every detail of what they wanted to see in their next Presidential. This is going to be the most consumer-driven luxury fifth-wheel on the market.”
The new Presidential boasts premium construction techniques, including thicker, better insulated sidewalls that are solid vacuum bonded from top to bottom with no metal skirting – just like a diesel pusher motorhome. A unique proprietary chassis design creates industry leading exterior storage, including another motorhome style feature – rear pass-thru storage.
The 40-footer on display will have the MOR-Ryde independent suspension with hydraulic disc brakes, automatic leveling, generator, frameless dual pane windows, and full-body paint. The interior features slideouts over eight feet tall, arched padded ceilings with recessed L.E.D. lighting, quartz countertops, a 6o-inch residential shower, dishwasher, stack washer/dryer and Lane brand residential furniture.
The Presidential will launch with four floorplans from 32 to 40 foot lengths. For additional information please call Andrea Ritsema at (574) 389-4037.
LIFESTYLE Luxury RV continues to grow its line of luxury fifth-wheel models, today (Sept. 13) announcing the addition of its newest floorplan, the LS35SB.
According to a press release, the LS35SB floorplan offers customers a depth of unique features, highlighted by an entertainment center with pullout desk and angled hallway entry featuring a side-bath and round-front shower.
“The LS35SB is an exciting new addition to our growing model lineup and makes available to fifth-wheel customers innovative design, luxurious amenities and ample space,” said Elliott Bond, national sales manager for Middlebury, Ind.-based LIFESTYLE, a division of EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC. “Our goal at LIFESTYLE Luxury RV continues to be bringing about a refreshed version of fifth-wheel luxury living, and the LS35SB is a clear and impressive next step for us as we work toward that goal.”
Other key features of the LS35SB floorplan include:
• Galley slideout with optional kitchen island.
• Full-size sofa in opposing slideout and two recliners in rear.
• Large linen closet in bedroom.
• Room for stackable washer/dryer.
• Optional fireplace.
The LS35SB floorplan, along with LIFESTYLE’s six other floorplans and nine total variations, will be shown during next week’s Elkhart County RV Open House as part of the company’s display at Executive Parkway and Reagan Court on the way to the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart. For more information visit www.LifestyleLRV.com.