Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. has introduced its lowest priced, fully-equipped midsize Class B motorhome, designed to be environmentally sensible by eliminating the use of propane.
According to a press release, the new Ranger RT camper van’s lower weight and smaller engine allow for a lighter chassis, all of which lead to better fuel efficiency. Weight is further reduced through carrying of a portable 110-volt generator that can be used only when needed.
Energy sources are simplified to just electricity and gasoline. By excluding propane, Roadtrek said the van’s systems are greatly simplified for easier operation and less maintenance, and burning of fossil fuels is reduced to help the environment.
When not connected to an external power source, RVers can run the 110/12-volt refrigerator, 110-volt stove, 110-volt microwave oven and 110-volt water heater with the dual large capacity auxiliary batteries through an improved electrical system with a 1250-watt power inverter. The power-efficient, compressor-driven Norcold refrigerator provides cooling without propane. The unit is also thermostatically controlled to eliminate frozen produce when the temperature drops at night.
A propane option including tank, stove and furnace is available for those who require ample space heating or extensive stove use while dry camping. A built-in generator is available for those who want one but prefer not to carry a portable one. Respect for the environment is further exhibited by use of water-based exterior paint and reduced use of wood resources.
The Ranger RT, with MSRP’s starting at $72,800, is currently in production.
For additional information, visit www.roadtrek.com/PR or call 888-ROADTREK (762-3873) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada-based Class B builder Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. has introduced the N6-Active, a new category of “activity vehicle,” according to a press release.
The N6-Active, which debuted at last week’s National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., offers several different applications: an SUV that gets up to 18 mpg and is equipped with a refrigerator, sink, microwave and exterior shower; a minivan that can tow 9,000 pounds; a people hauler that consumers won’t be embarrassed to drive; and an RV people can drive every day.
“It’s a great alternative to a large SUV, crossover, or minivan for an active family,” said Jeff Hanemaayer, co-chairman of Roadtrek.
The N6 is built on the new Nissan NV 2500 series van. At 20 feet, 1 inch long, it’s based on the same platform as Nissan’s Titan full-size pickup truck. With more legroom, elbow room and headroom than an SUV or minivan, Roadtrek said it has more than enough space for seven people including an easily to accessible third row that is big enough for two adults or three children.
In addition, four captain seats swivel to surround an expandable table that can be set up in two different locations. There’s also a built-in kitchenette for on-the-road meals and a pop-up roof allows full standing height inside and sleeping for two adults or kids. The third row seat reclines to a full-length double bed and families can sleep a fifth person across the two front seats on the optional folding mattress.
The N6 is well equipped with the latest audio, video, navigation and phone electronics and support for today’s tablets. And because the N6 meets the definition of an RV, Roadtrek said the interest incurred to finance its purchase can be tax deductible as a second residence.
Roadtrek reported that the N6 was well-received by dealers in Louisville. “We sold 14 the first day of the show,” said Hanemaayer.
Base MSRP is $67,470. The N6 is now in production and will be seen on the first dealers’ lots this month. For additional information, visit www.roadtrek.com/PR or call 888-ROADTREK (762-3873) or email@example.com.
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada-based Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. announced that it will be displaying product as part of Elkhart County’s 4th Annual RV Open House Week, running Sept. 19-23.
According to a press release, the manufacturer will be showing its line of Sprinter- and GM-based Class B motorhomes at a site on C.R. 6, 1 ½ miles east of Cassopolis Street in Elkhart.
Roadtrek reported that the company continues to dominate the Class B segment with 50% market share through July, according to data from Statistical Surveys Inc.
For more information on Roadtrek’s open house, contact Paul Cassidy, vice president of sales, at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.roadtrek.com/PR or call 888-ROADTREK (762-3873).
Industrial Opportunity Partners (IOP), an operations-focused private equity firm based in Evanston, Ill., today (April 26) announced its investment in Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. The transaction was a recapitalization of the privately owned business in partnership with Roadtrek’s owner and senior management team, according to a news release.
Headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, Roadtrek is North America’s leading designer and manufacturer of Class B motorhomes with more than 50% of the U.S. market. Roadtrek’s recreational vehicles are sold through a network of independent dealers in the United States, Canada and Japan.
IOP is partnering in its investment with the current sole shareholder, Jeff Hanemaayer, who will remain as co-chairman, as well as with other members of the company’s senior management team, all of whom will remain active in continuing to manage and grow the business.
In addition, Andy Weller, an IOP operating principal, will become a co-chairman, with Jim Hammill continuing to serve as president and a member of the Roadtrek board of directors. Weller, who has significant experience providing oversight and leadership to companies similar to Roadtrek, is a member of IOP’s Board of Operating Principals, which is comprised of seasoned executives who provide leadership to businesses in which IOP invests. To learn more about Weller’s business background click here.
Kenneth M. Tallering, senior managing director of IOP, said, “We look forward to partnering with Jeff, Jim and the rest of Roadtrek’s talented management team. Roadtrek is an established leader in the attractive Class B RV niche market and has built an excellent reputation for providing a well-designed and high-quality product.”
Added Weller, “Roadtrek’s focus on product design and quality has allowed it to maintain its leading market position for nearly two decades. I look forward to working closely with the Roadtrek team to continue to grow Roadtrek’s business and further enhance its reputation with its dealers and consumers.”
Hanemaayer said, “I, along with the Roadtrek team, are excited to partner with IOP. IOP brings both capital and substantial operational experience, which together will help our company continue to provide our customers with an unrivalled combination of product design, quality, efficient manufacturing and service.”
KPMG Corporate Finance Inc. represented Roadtrek and Hanemaayer in this transaction. TD Asset Finance and Export Development Canada provided financing for the acquisition.
About Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc.
Roadtrek is the leading manufacturer of Class B motorhomes, selling its motorhomes through a network of independent RV dealers in the United States, Canada and Japan. Roadtrek’s reputation as the market leader within the Class B motorhome niche has been established through a focus on delivering the highest value vehicles, providing innovative product designs, and manufacturing vehicles of the highest quality available. The company’s commitment to quality is evidenced by becoming the first motorhome manufacturer in North America to obtain registration to the rigorous international standard ISO9001:2000(E). For more information, visit Roadtrek’s website at www.roadtrek.com.
About Industrial Opportunity Partners
IOP is a private equity firm dedicated to creating value through investing in manufacturing and value-added distribution businesses with sales between $30 million and $350 million.
IOP focuses on businesses with strong product, customer and market positions, and provides management and operational resources to support growth in sales and earnings at its businesses. For more information, visit IOP’s website at www.iopfund.com.
Industrial Opportunity Partners LLC, a Chicago-based private equity firm, is going to make a multi-million dollar investment in Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. within the next couple of weeks, Roadtrek announced today (Feb. 22).
Roadtrek, based in Kitchener, Ontario, is the No.1 Class B motorhome maker.
IOP’s investment insures that the company has the capital to make increased ongoing investments in product improvements, new products, new markets (like China and possibly Europe) and new processes, and continues to offer limited supplemental wholesale floorplan to U.S. dealers, something Roadtrek’s competitors cannot afford to do, Roadtrek stated in a news release.
The existing Roadtrek management team, led by Jeff Hanemaayer as co-chairman and Jim Hammill as president will continue to manage the company. Upon completion of the IOP investment, Andy Weller, one of IOP’s Operating Principals with significant experience in manufacturing and transportation companies, will provide additional leadership as the other co-chairman.
“We are extremely enthusiastic about working with IOP to continue to provide our customers with an unrivalled combination of product design, quality, price and service,” said Hanemaayer.
IOP is focused on investing in middle market manufacturing businesses with strong products, customers and markets. IOP provides both financial resources and management assistance to support its investments in better serving their customers and, in turn, growing sales and earnings at such companies. Despite the recent unfavorable economic environment, they have not had a single failure among their portfolio of companies.
IOP’s current investment portfolio includes Algoma Hardwoods Inc., FAS Controls Inc., Center Manufacturing Inc., Gulf Coast Machine & Supply Co., E.B. Bradley Co., Carlson Systems Holdings Inc. and Edelbrock LLC.
IOP was the “staking horse” in an attempt to buy cargo trailer maker Pace American Inc. in 2010. Sun Capital Partners Inc., a private equity capital firm based in Boca Raton, Fla., ultimately bought the cargo trailer maker.
For more information on IOP, visit www.iopfund.com.
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.
Retail sales of Class B motorhomes dropped 17.2% in September from September 2009, Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI) has reported.
It was the first year-over-year decline for Class B sales this year, following a steady improvement starting in 2009.
Year-to-date, Class B sales still remain a healthy 28.8% ahead of the 2009 pace.
Kitchener, Ontario-based Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. remained the industry leader in September with a 40.6% market share, followed by fellow Canadian builder Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd. with a 21.9% share. Winnebago Industries Inc. was the leader among U.S. builders with a 19.8% share and in third place overall.
Year-to-date, Roadtrek is the industry leader with a 42.1% market share, followed by Pleasure-Way with a 22.1% share and Winnebago with an 18.3% share.
To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, SSI national RV sales manager, at (616) 281-9898 ext. 128, or 616-446-8179 (cell).
Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. has announced the appointment of Joe Murray as regional sales manager for the central U.S. region.
Murray is a 43-year veteran of the Class B van business.
“We are tremendously excited to add Joe to our strong sales team. Adding someone with Joe’s talent and experience just reinforces our No. 1 position in North America,” said Paul Cassidy, vice president of sales for the Kitchener, Ontario-based company.
Murray will work as part of the team to grow sales in North America, with a specific focus of supporting and growing sales in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.
Murray’s cell number is (810) 537-1339.
Retail sales of Class B motorhomes or van campers rose 14.6% in July over July 2009, Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI) has reported.
Canada-based Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. remained the industry leader with a 40% share of the U.S. market.
Thor Industries Inc. moved into the No. 2 spot with a 20.9% share, nosing out another Canadian firm, Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd., which had a 19.1% share.
Only six of the eight participating firms reported retail sales for the month.
Year-to-date, Class B sales are ahead of the 2009 pace by 42.8%.
Year-to-date, Roadtrek is solidly in the No. 1 spot with a 41.1% market share, followed by Pleasure-Way with a 22.2% share and Winnebago Industries Inc. with an 18.3% share.
To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, SSI national RV sales manager, at (616)9898 ext. 128, or (616) 446-8179 (cell).
Alex and Jan Alexander were in the 17th week of a tour of the West Coast in their 2006 Country Coach when they pulled into the gates of the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond, Ore., for the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) 84th International Convention Aug. 11-14. One of more than 2,000 motorhome families to attend the mid-week event in central Oregon, the young couple from St. James City, Fla., intended to spend the four days soaking up information.
“We’re here for several reasons,” Alex noted after exiting the Tiffin Motor Homes manufacturer’s display. “We wanted to see what’s going on in the industry — but, most importantly from an educational standpoint, to visit the displays and see the latest in engines and electronics … it (Redmond) has a little bit of everything.” And, while the first-time visitors to the convention hadn’t considered upgrading their luxury coach prior to the event, Alex did note that “we may change our minds. Right now, we’re looking at an Allegro bus.”
According to Jerry Yeatts, FMCA event director, the Alexanders’ upbeat attitude personified the 84th convention, which also was highlighted by the public debut of the new Vesta motorhome from Monaco RV LLC and the West Coast introduction of the Insignia from Jayco’s Entegra Coach division.
“We had a little over 2,000 families there, and about 200 coaches on display,” he said. “Compared to the last time we were here, it was probably comparable, numbers-wise — but as far as attitude and enthusiasm, it was amazing. The members were probably in their best mood we’ve seen in quite a while. Seems like sales were up, spirits were up, and overall it was a great convention.”
It also apparently was quite successful for a number of exhibitors. “One OEM said that the higher-end coaches they brought were sold,” Yeatts said. “Another dealer who brought in 11 coaches sold six.”
Shannon Nill, general manager of Guaranty RV, Junction City, Ore., echoed Yeatts’ assessment on the overall atmosphere of the program. “We sold 18 RVs at the Redmond rally, about evenly distributed between new and used,” Nill noted, out of about 75 units the dealership supplied to several displays including Monaco, Newmar Corp. and Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. “Beyond the sales, however, one huge point was that the mood of the customer was really strong compared to last year’s rally. People were eager to RV. The gatherings of this kind after a slowdown are even more important than normal.”
This year marked the fourth time FMCA has held a convention at the Redmond fairgrounds, but was the first time the association kicked off the event with a Wednesday “preview” day. Gates opened at 5 p.m. on “hump day” for touring outdoor manufacturer displays, followed by access only to indoor exhibits Thursday morning. All displays became accessible at noon and thereafter.
“We really didn’t receive any comments concerning shifting the pattern,” Yeatts said. “The gate on Wednesday was greater than normal, but we don’t know if that’s attributable to starting later in the week, or later in the day.”
The Vesta, introduced to dealers two weeks prior to the Redmond convention, immediately attracted quite a bit of attention from rally attendees due to its unique aerodynamic styling.
“We’ve had a lot of customers come up to us that hadn’t really considered a Class A before just because of the size,” said Ryan Lee, marketing director for the Coburg, Ore., manufacturer. “They take a look at this, with the sleek design, and see that it’s really easy from an ergonomic standpoint to sit up there in the driver’s seat and drive that coach.”
Built on a proprietary 26,000-pound GVWR Monaco Roadmaster chassis and designed in conjunction with wind-tunnel testing, the single-slide 32-foot Vesta (a 35-foot floorplan also is planned) features a sloping front fascia, low center of gravity and tapered rear section. MSRP for the 32-foot coach is $195,000-$200,000.
“It’s pretty striking,” Lee said of the styling. “One of the things that we’re trying to do at Monaco is that, when a coach rolls down the road we want people to know it’s a Monaco; we want people to know it’s a Holiday Rambler (Monaco’s sister division). And this type of styling is going to get us there.”
Along with the Vesta, Monaco also brought several models with fresh 2011 floorplans to Redmond. “We’re showing our first 2011 Dynasty and Camalot here at the show,” noted Mike Snell, senior vice president of sales and product development for Monaco. “The Dynasty has a 500hp engine, and we’ve changed the paint scheme and have really upgraded the interiors. On the Camelot, we did the same: changed the front facia, the backsplash, put in a ceiling insert in the living room — we really dressed up the inside. We also have our slide-in-a-slide Diplomat here. We had the slide-in-a-slide in the Dynasty, and we added it to the Diplomat, which is a 43-footer.”
The Entegra Insignia, which debuted almost simultaneously at Affinity Group’s The Rally, July 22-25, at Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center and Redmond, is the Jayco division’s “entry-level” coach for the high-end Entegra line. Built on a 32,400-pound GVWR Freightliner XCR chassis powered by a 360-hp Cummins ISB diesel engine, the $265,000 MSRP Insignia features heated-and-enclosed holding tanks, frameless flush-mounted slideout rooms, gel goat fiberglass sidewalls and a steel-reinforced front cap and windshield frame plus interiors sporting glazed maple hardwood cabinets and leather hide-a-bed sofas.
Yet another new unit drawing a crowd was the 2011 model from Newell Coach Corp. Upgrades to the 2011 welded-steel-and-aluminum Newell motorcoaches — the first since the 2006 model year — include upgraded front caps with bright-white “string-of-pearl” LED running lights that outline the outer edges of the headlights, plus rear-body trim and redesigned side moldings. Interiors feature wood windowsill trim bordered with seamed leather, carbon-fiber instrument panels and automated air conditioning and heating.
The upbeat atmosphere at Redmond was, in the view of many dealers staffing the manufacturer exhibits, a reflection of a more optimistic viewpoint already noted at their respective dealerships.
Brian Kehoe, a sales consultant for Sandy, Ore.-based Johnson RV Sales who was manning the Entegra display, noted that the dealership “has experienced four months consecutive of record sales for the company. It’s been fantastic. All the way through, from the B class, C class, Class A gas and diesel units.” The dealership, site of the former Fred’s RV, opened under the Johnson RV Sales umbrella last year and features 12 service bays and three buildings — including an indoor showroom — on seven acres.
At the Tiffin exhibit, Rick Neat, a salesman from RV Corral, Eugene, Ore., one of three dealerships providing coaches for the display, called August “the best month in two years.
“There’s more business out there,” following the shuttering of dealers and OEMs alike during the recession, he said, adding that consumer credit is likewise on an uptick. “On the big money, it’s starting to ease up a bit. A lot of people are going to credit unions now, which are getting a lot more flexible than they were in the past.”
Mike Alverez, with All Seasons RV, Bend, Ore., concurred. “Our banks have loosened up,” he said at the Winnebago Industries Inc. exhibit. “They’ve changed on how they are financing. They are looking at people in a better light, where before it was tough to get financing accomplished. The other thing, too, is that GE, our flooring company, has backed off; they are letting us get product in here, and we’re making the turns we need to make to keep it going.”
Along with new coach designs and features, Redmond also was one of the first consumer shows to feature motorhomes fitted with new 2010 EPA emissions-compliant engines, and several exhibitors — including Gaffney, S.C.-based Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. and Spartan Chassis, Charlotte, Mich. — fielded questions from consumers and dealership personnel somewhat confused about the technical merits of the two competing drive systems developed to meet the EPA criteria. Cummins Inc. utilizes an aftermarket treatment system, while Navistar’s new MaxxForce engines employ Advanced EGR technology.