Prime Time Manufacturing, a division of Forest River Inc., was recently honored with the Outstanding Achievement Award during a catered lunch ceremony at the company’s Wakarusa, Ind., facility.
Jeff Christner, Forest River director of Codes and Standards, presented the award to the 150 employees of the company’s Tracer and LaCrosse travel trailer division in recognition of their excellent results during routine Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) audits for 2011. Christner applauded the company’s workers for their commitment to quality and noted that the facility recorded only one written deviation for the entire year from RVIA.
RVIA employs a staff of full-time professional standards inspectors who conduct unannounced inspection visits to each manufacturer. The inspector performs an on-line inspection from chassis to final finish, checking representative sample RV units for compliance with over 500 safety-related requirements.
Bruce Hopkins, vice president of Standards and Education for RVIA, spoke during the presentation, noting, “Prime Time and Forest River continue to establish themselves as leaders in the industry with their commitment to quality, codes, and standards. RVIA congratulates Plant 48 for its outstanding performance.”
“Prime Time Manufacturing is honored to have earned this Outstanding Achievement Award,” said Prime Time President Jeff Rank. “Only having a single deviation for the entire year is a credit to the hard work of our employees and the invaluable daily feedback and assistance received from the Forest River Corporate Codes and Quality groups. It certainly is a team effort.”
Prime Time Manufacturing, a division of Forest River Inc., has expanded its product offering with the introduction of the all-new entry-level Avenger travel trailer.
Dealers and retail customers are having their first look at Avenger during this week’s Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey. Two models will also be on display for industry insiders at the Forest River display Sept. 20-22 as part of the Elkhart County 4th Annual RV Open House.
Avenger is the fifth brand to be introduced by Prime Time and represents the final stage in the company’s strategy to offer a full range of towable products.
“When we started the company two years ago, the goal was to be a full-line towable manufacturer,” said Jeff Rank, president of the Wakarusa, Ind.-based manufacturer. “In our mind, that meant having five products that served five distinct markets. Avenger completes that goal and now our customers have a choice of Prime Time products ranging from entry-level travel trailer to luxury fifth-wheel.”
Standard interior features for Avenger include glazed cherry hardwood cabinet doors, Armstrong “Tough Guard” linoleum with a five-year wear warranty, extra large slide rooms, 87-inch U-Dinettes and dual pots and pans drawers with full extension drawer guides. Exterior features include “2X2 construction,” enclosed underbelly, gas/electric DSI water heater, outside shower and Super Lube axles.
“When we were designing Avenger, we examined every feature and every component to maximize value to the end user,” said Product Manager Joe Luther. “We also wanted to build Avenger with a much higher standard of quality so we implemented processes and construction upgrades far superior to typical ‘stick and tin’ products that will provide our customers a fantastic ownership experience.”
MSRP for the new Avenger starts at $15,995.
For information regarding the Avenger, please consult www.primetimerv.com or call (574) 862-3001.
The all-new Sanibel fifth-wheel is in full production at Prime Time Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Elkhart, Ind.-based Forest River Inc.
According to a press release, the new fiver targets the luxury fifth-wheel buyer and is intended to compliment the Wakarusa, Ind., company’s mid-priced Crusader fifth wheel. Prime Time management recently delivered the first production model to Leisure Time RV in Oklahoma City. Base MSRP of the new Sanibel fifth wheel is $65,000.
Upon receiving the new unit, Debora Bingham and Ron Walker, dealer principals at Leisure Time RV, noted, “Sanibel looks absolutely fantastic and is loaded with lots of easy-to-sell features that high-end customers are going to love. Prime Time represents a big part of our business and we think Sanibel will be another great addition to our dealership”.
Sanibel Product Manager Jeff Wagner said Prime Time has a special relationship with Leisure Time RV, stating, “Ron and Debora were one of the very first dealers to sign up with Prime Time when the company was started in 2009. They have done a fantastic job representing all of our products in the Oklahoma City market and we are thankful for their continued commitment and support. It’s an honor to deliver the first Sanibel to Leisure Time RV.”
For more information regarding Sanibel and Prime Time Manufacturing, please call (574) 862-3001 or consult www.primetimerv.com.
Wakarusa, Ind.-based Prime Time Manufacturing, a Forest River Inc. subsidiary, announced that it has been notified the builder will be receiving the prestigious Quality Circle Award from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) for the second straight year.
Three Prime Time brands – LaCrosse, Tracer, and Crusader – will be honored during the “Celebrate Excellence: All-Industry Gala” at the RVDA National Convention on Oct. 5. Each of the brands was recognized for scoring 80% or above in overall dealer satisfaction as measured in the Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey conducted by RVDA.
The DSI survey, which determines the Quality Circle Award winners, rates manufacturers’ performance in eight core areas: vehicle reliability/quality, parts support, dealership warranty support, vehicle design, sales support, sales territory, competitive price/value and overall dealer communications.
“Prime Time Manufacturing is again honored to have earned the Quality Circle Award with each of our eligible brands,” said Prime Time President Jeff Rank. “Winning is a tremendous credit to the hard work and commitment of nearly 300 employees who have come together with a joint mission to build high quality products, while providing industry-leading services to our dealers.”
“The DSI survey is an important tool for the measurement of the quality of our products, our manufacturing processes, and our sales and service policies,” said Rank. “We want to thank our valued dealer partners for honoring us with this prestigious award. Prime Time has geared up with an outstanding line-up of innovative and high quality towables for 2012 and we look forward to serving our dealers and retail customers with more award-winning products and services.”
Prime Time Manufacturing recently built the 1,000th Crusader fifth-wheel at its production facility in Wakarusa, Ind. The milestone unit was sold and delivered to Southern RV Supercenter, a multi-store dealership headquartered in Bossier City, La., which is the largest volume Crusader dealer in North America.
Prime Time President Jeff Rank made the arrangements for the sale of the special 298 BHD Crusader. “Southern RV was one of the very first Prime Time dealers when we started the company in 2009,” he said. “We are thankful for their continued commitment and support of Prime Time Manufacturing. It’s an honor to deliver Crusader number 1,000 to Jim and his team in recognition of their outstanding sales success.”
In accepting the 1,000th Crusader, Jim Hicks, president of Southern RV Supercenter, noted, “Like all of the Prime Time products, Crusader has several fantastic floorplans with lots of easy-to-sell features. Our retail customers think the Crusader looks great and our sales department loves to sell them. Crusader has quickly become a big part of our business.” Southern RV Supercenter has additional locations in Tyler, TX and Lafayette, LA.
Prime Time Manufacturing is a division of Forest River Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. company. Prime Time, founded in July 2009, offers towable RV’s under the brand names of Crusader, LaCrosse, Tracer and Sanibel. For more information regarding Prime Time Manufacturing, visit www.primetimerv.com or call (574) 862-3001.
TV viewers watching ”RV 2011” on HGTV New Year’s day generally got glowing cable TV reviews of 20 motorhomes and towable RVs displayed last September at the Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show in Hershey, Pa.
Host Chi-Lan Lieu guided two families with children and a third couple through the maze of RVs at the Hershey Show on the grounds of Hersheypark.
Each family had different goals — the Herbst family was looking to upgrade while the Styles family sought their first RV, a high-end motorhome or towable and Lindsay and Chad Drvak were looking to accommodate rescued dogs.
Lieu, in turn, showed different RVs that she thought would meet their goals. Although none committed to buying an RV during the program, each chose one that they thought best suited their needs.
Among the units highlighted were Fleetwood RV Inc.’s high-end American Revolution and Tiffin Motor Home Inc.’s diminutive Allegro diesel pushers, Winnebago Industries Inc.’s Access minimotorhome, Prime Time Manufacturing’s Crusader fifth-wheel and Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc.’s SS Ideal van camper.
The Herbsts chose a Dynamax Dynaquest XV Class C motorhome; the Styles, a Dutchmen Voltage high-end sport utility fifth-wheel (SURV); and the Drvaks, an Earthbound travel trailer.
The hour-long program marks the 13th year that HGTV has highlighted new RV products, and will be rebroadcast at unspecified times during the year.
Producers of the program worked with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and its agency, Barton Gilanelli, to put the program together.
Two-year-old Prime Time Manufacturing, Wakarusa, Ind., a fast-growing division of Forest River Inc., has introduced the 2011 Crusader, its first fifth-wheel.
”For a little fifth-wheel, there is a lot of storage and a very residential feel,” said Jeff Rank, Prime Time president and co-founder.
Available in six 29- to 36-foot floorplans, 34-foot 298BHD floorplan features a fully equipped exterior kitchen with a stone facade. ”Clearly outdoor kitchens are the trend,” Rank said. ”Everyone has one on travel trailers, but it’s just starting to filter its way into fifth-wheels.”
The Crusader features an aerodynamic front cap that affords an 88-degree turning radius which allows towing by short-bed pickup trucks without having the need for a slider hitch.
Standard features on the fiberglass-and-aluminum Crusader, which joins the Tracer ultra-lite and LaCrosse laminated trailer in Prime Time’s lineup, include soldid surface countertops, large pantries, cherry-glazed cabinets, crown molding and wardrobe slideout. MSRPs range from $27,000 to $45,000.
On Prime Time’s agenda for 2011 is the Sanibel full-profile fifth-wheel, along with a stick-and-tin entry level trailer in late summer and then a sport utility RV (SURV) by the Louisville Show.
”At that point we will be in every major segment and then we will stop introducing new brands and and try to make all of them better,” Rank said.
Wakarusa, Ind.-based Prime Time Manufacturing has announced the promotions of Joe Luther and Dan Sellers to product managers for the company’s Crusader, LaCrosse, and Tracer product lines, effective today.
“Joe and Dan have been instrumental in the successful start-up and subsequent growth of Prime Time,” Chris Hermon, Prime Time Manufacturing vice president of sales, stated in a news release.
“They have a long history of developing outstanding dealer relationships based on hard work, integrity, and a real understanding of the RV industry. Although Jeff Rank and I will continue to be very involved in all product decisions, Prime Time is fortunate to have these two talented individuals ready to take our brands to the next level.”
Luther will be product manager for the company’s fifth-wheel products that include the recently introduced Crusader and the soon-to-be-introduced Sanibel. Prior to joining Prime Time as a regional sales manager, Luther was national sales manager for Gulfstream’s Class C Motorized division for 10 years. In order to stay close to the retail customer, Luther will retain a small sales territory in the southeastern U.S. Living in Granger, Ind., Luther and his wife, Cheryl, have four daughters.
Sellers will assume responsibility for Prime Time’s travel trailer products – the ultra lightweight Tracer and the luxury lightweight LaCrosse. A 22-year industry veteran, Sellers has worked at some of the industry’s leading manufacturers in various capacities with direct sales experience in over 60% of the United States. Sellers will have a small sales territory in the Midwest. Dan and his wife, Gayle, reside in Wakarusa, Ind., and have two adult children.
For information regarding Prime Time Manufacturing, consult www.primetimerv.com or call (574) 862-3001.
Prime Time Manufacturing is a division of Forest RiverInc, a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. company.
Prime Time Manufacturing has expanded its product offering with the introduction of the all-new Tracer Micro series travel trailer targeted toward minivan and small crossover tow vehicles. Industry insiders got their first look at the new Tracer Micro during the just completed Forest River Inc. dealer open house in Elkhart, Ind., according to a news release.
“The thinking behind the new Micro is simple,” according to Jeff Rank, president for the Wakarusa, Ind.-based manufacturer. “Prime Time wanted a travel trailer that can easily be towed by a minivan with 3,500 pounds of towing capacity. Unfortunately, most of the units in this weight range really compromise livability and function. With Micro we’ve combined great looks, the right features, and many of today’s lightweight composite materials to create a perfect balance between weight, price, features and eye appeal.”
Three floorplans, all with slideouts, are being offered in the Tracer Micro series with shipping weights starting at 2,550 pounds fully loaded. Standard interior equipment includes cherry cabinets and cherry hardwood cabinet doors, automotive styled leather wrapped dinettes, microwave, air conditioner and CD player. On the outside, a full-sized awning, stabilizer jacks, spare tire, stereo speakers, television hook-up and aluminum wheels are included as standard equipment.
The MSRPs for the new Tracer Micro series start at $14,900.
Prime Time Manufacturing is a division of Forest River Inc, a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. company. Prime Time offers towable recreational vehicles under the brand names of LaCrosse, Tracer, and Crusader.
For information regarding the Tracer Micro, consult www.primetimerv.com or call (574) 862-3001.
As Forest River Inc. marks its best sales year since being founded in 1995 by Peter J. Liegl, the multi-divisional company anticipates hosting 2,800 people at its third annual dealer meeting, Sept. 29-30, at its corporate headquarters in Elkhart, Ind.
”I guess we are going to have a 40% increase this year in attendance,” Liegl told RVBUSINESS.com. ”The response has been phenomenally good.”
The show will feature Forest River, Coachmen, Palomino and Prime Time recreation vehicles along with buses, cargo trailers, manufactured homes, commercial vehicles, ice houses, pontoon boats and bathroom units manufactured by other divisions.
In an exclusive interview with RVBUSINESS.com, Liegl estimates that Forest River’s sales for 2010 will be in the range of $2.5 billion, up 74.2% compared to last year.
”We’ve never had a better year in our whole history,” Liegl said. ”We’re happy with that. But by the same token, we picked up a lot of pieces of the pie (market share) where other people went out of business.”
Soon to join Forest River’s lineup is the reincarnation of the Shasta brand in a new division under the direction of industry veteran Brad Whitehead that will build stick-and-tin travel trailers, minimotorhomes and laminated trailers and fifth-wheels. Shasta’s new lineup will make their debut Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at the 48th National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
”We won’t have anything from Shasta at our dealer showing, but there’s a need for a Shasta-type product and we’ll have it at Louisville,” Liegl said.
Although the recent proliferation of northern Indiana dealer meetings has raised some concerns within the industry regarding the ultimate impact on the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Louisville Show, Liegl said that Forest River’s dealer show is meant to compliment the Louisville Show, rather than replace it.
”I think we need both,” Liegl said. ”No 1, Louisville is limited to RVs. By the same token, space is extremely costly there. I’ve got my show here in a field next to corporate headquarters. I can display more at no cost.”
Liegl, at the same time, said the Louisville Show by itself isn’t long enough to spend the time necessary with Forest River’s dealers. ”Our show just gives us more time to spend with our dealers communicating,” he said. ”That’s all Louisville is, communicating. But with our own show, we’ve got more time to do that.”
The Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary’s foray into staging its initial dealer meeting in 2008 with the theme ”Pick Your Partner” was spurred by the desire to ”let dealers know that financially, unquestionably, we were the strongest (RV manufacturer),” Liegl said.
”We wanted to make it known that they should make sure that their ‘partner’ was going to be here through thick and thin,” Liegl added. ”And obviously, it worked very successfully for us.
”In effect we were saying to dealers that they needed to know who they were doing business with because if your manufacturer goes out of business, you’ve got a problem, not only a problem getting your warranty, but a problem selling them and getting them financed.
“Every dealer out there understands that very well today when they look at the manufacturers that went out of business and the problems they had with the product that they had on their lots.”
Liegl said the theme for this year’s gathering will involve a ”thank you” to dealers for making Forest River the success it has become.
in the big picture, Liegl said a host of RV manufacturers holding dealer open houses and shows the same week in September is, in reality, boosting attendance at Forest River’s gathering.
Those other companies hosting dealers include Gulf Stream Coach Inc.; Thor Industries Inc. subsidiaries Keystone RV Co., Thor Motor Coach (recently created from the consolidation of Four Winds International Corp. and Damon Motor Coach), Breckenridge and Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc.; Monaco RV LLC; Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles; Dynamax Corp,; EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC; Sunnybrook RV; and Carriage Inc. Meanwhile, Jayco Inc.’s annual Master Sales Training Session for dealers’ sales staffs is partly slotted in the same time frame.
”Having the competition have their (dealer shows) at the same time has boosted our numbers,” Liegl said. ”We’re getting commitments (from competitors’) dealers that they are coming to ours too.”