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Roadtrek’s Hanemaayer Resigns After 31 Years

June 19, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Roadtrek's Jeff Hanemaayer

The timing seems right. As Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. marks its 40th year of operation, Jeff Hanemaayer – the architect behind the company’s status as the undisputed market share leader in the Class B motorhome segment – has announced his resignation from day-to-day operations, effective July 31.

During a 31-year run heading the Kitchener, Ontario-based firm founded by his father, Jac, Hanemaayer and his team set the bar for innovation in a niche market that survives on specialization and a cult-like customer base rather than sheer volume.

“The features that have attracted people to Class B’s really haven’t changed much over the years,” Hanemaayer said, noting that Roadtrek has held the No. 1 sales position in the segment since 1990. “The main reason is that it’s easy to drive. My dad used to say that the design appeals to RVers who don’t want to be weekend bus drivers. We also package units with a lot of the same high-end amenities that are typically reserved for Class A’s.”

Hanemaayer, 49, set the table for his resignation from Roadtrek in February of 2011 when Chicago-based private equity firm Industrial Opportunity Partners acquired a majority interest with a multimillion dollar investment in the company.

“I gradually became less involved in the day-to-day operations over the last two years,” he said, adding that he had retained the real estate. “Another factor in my resignation is that we have a long-term president, Jim Hammill, in place who understands the company and the marketplace. Although I will continue as a director, minority shareholder and the landlord, I will be stepping back from everyday involvement.”

He is also stepping down from his board positions with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and its counterpart Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association (CRVA).

“I enjoyed my involvement over the years with both associations,” Hanemaayer said. “I joined CRVA in 1990 and served in various capacities, including being the youngest president. It was nice to have the opportunity to work with a lot of the smart minds in our industry.”

Hanemaayer reported that Roadtrek had grown to include around 200 full-time employees operating in a 120,000-square-foot facility. “We hit our peak in 2007, but like everyone else were forced to pare back our work force when the market declined,” he said. “Interestingly, Class B’s bounced back quicker than the the Class A and Class C motorhome segments. After dropping off from 2,000 to 2,400 units a year, B’s are back to running at around 1,600 units.”

Hanemaayer acknowledged that the marketplace may never achieve the high volume of Class A’s and C’s as around a dozen OEM’s currently build the product.

Roadtrek's 40th Anniversary Rally in Branson

“The market continues to be fragmented,” he said. “Larger manufacturers have never found much success because they are not set up to build 100 or so of one model per year. There is also a lot of specialization and product variation. Right now, Roadtrek builds nine different models.

“Another factor that limits volume is cost. Class B’s do not have that lower-end price point. Unfortunately, some consumers equate price with size, so they may gravitate toward a Class C because it’s bigger and, in some cases, less money.”

One area, however, could change the landscape in the Class B market, according to Hanemaayer, as a number of new commercial van platforms have threatened to cut into the domination enjoyed by the Sprinter chassis produced by Mercedes-Benz.

“I think the new number of platforms will influence volume,” he said. “It looks like there will be some direct competition to Sprinter, which should create a lower price point.”

For now, Hanemaayer said he is undecided on his career path. First, he is planning to travel, including longer treks with his partner in their Roadtrek motorhome.

“I will take a half year off,” he said. “But I’m not interested in retirement. I will probably do something part-time that still gives me the option to travel.”

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Roadtrek Rally Marks Builder’s 40th Anniversary

June 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Roadtrek rally attendees gather for a group shot

Kitchener, Ontario-based Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc., a leading class B manufacturer, drew over 500 owners and 259 rigs to a May 20-24 rally marking the company’s 40th anniversary.

According to a press release, Roadtrek owners from across the U.S. and Canada gathered with Roadtrek senior management, sales staff, engineering representatives and service technicians in Branson, Mo.

During the event, Roadtrek introduced its 40th Anniversary Edition model. Built on the Chevy Express 3500 van chassis, the coach includes 205 watts of Solar, 3,000-watt inverter, 3,500-watt engine generator, four coach batteries, new bamboo décor, new carpet and stainless steel exterior trim. Built for all-season RVing, the motorhome also features the Alde hydronic heat and hot water system.

Roadtrek also displayed its full-product line sporting new color schemes and décors, including the camping focused CS‐Adventurous and the technology focused E‐trek, both built on the Mercedes Sprinter 3500 van chassis.

Several seminars were held during Roadtrek's rally

In addition, attendees participated in a slate of activities, including a free exterior vehicle wash. Roadtrek technicians and engineers provided free technical support and seminars were held on various topics of interest such as solar and power management, fast winterizing, electronics training and generator maintenance. A separate event was organized to collect owners’ feedback on design improvements.

Throughout the week attendees enjoyed delicious meals and first‐rate entertainment, including Clay Cooper with the group from his “Oh What a Night” show; Dolly Parton Dixie Stampede Dinner and Show Theatre; Frankie Valli Singers, including photographs and autographs; Hillbilly Party; singing and dancing with the Lennon Cathart Singers (brothers of the Lennon Sisters) and The Platters.

Other activities included a golf tournament with a hole‐in‐one prize of brand new Roadtrek; Roadtrek “Olympic Games”; buses to various Branson attractions and shopping areas; and a caricaturist on site.

 

 

 

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Roadtrek Introducing CS-Adventurous Class B

April 30, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Sleeping area in Roadtrek's CS-Adventurous

Class B motorhome builder Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. has introduced the CS-Adventurous built on the fuel-efficient Mercedes Benz Sprinter van.

“We had the avid RVer and camper top-of-mind when we designed this exciting new model,”  said Jim Hammill, president of the Kitchener, Ontario-based company, in a press release. “We made sure it had ample capacity for lengthy trips, both dry camping and otherwise – ample fresh water, propane and storage. We incorporated a very advanced hydronic heating system to make spending time in the van as comfortable as home.”

Features include:

• Large galley with 7 cubic-foot fridge, raised convection/microwave oven, hot and cold filtered drinking water dispenser and loads of storage space.

• Hydronic heating system with in-floor radiant comfort heating, supplementary heat in the bathroom, hot water, vehicle and engine preheating in cold weather, and use of engine heat for coach heating and hot water to save propane.

• Front seating in luxurious captain seats that are separate from primary rear sleeping area to avoid making the bed every night and allow two people to rise and retire at different times. The van also features two separate living areas.

• Rear power sofa converts to large twin beds or king-size bed.

• Ample water, propane, storage and battery capacity for dry camping and trips.

• Abundant 12-volt power outlets for electronic devices.

The CS is also available with Roadtrek’s E-trek electric and environmental package for even greater independence and capability while dry camping for extended periods, all while being environmentally conscious. The CS-Adventurous is manufactured using high levels of environmentally conscious recycled and e-certified materials.

Roadtrek said it has begun production of the CS and its dealer network is prepared to take orders immediately.

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Roadtrek Reports Strong Performance for 2012

February 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

RS-Adventurous Class B

Kitchener, Ontario-based Class B builder Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. reported strong fourth quarter and year-end results, according to a press release.

“We are pleased with the strength of our revenue growth and profitability as we finished the year with strong operating performance,”said President Jim Hammill. “Roadtrek’s position in the improving RV market is the best it has been in five years. Our improved financial condition and flexibility has allowed us to focus engineering resources on product development, broaden our supply chain and sign new dealers in strategic locations.”

Hammill said that Roadtrek’s dealers also experienced a good year “with average sales per dealer up and significant gross profit improvements.”

Andy Weller, an operating principal at Industrial Opportunity Partners (IOP), Roadtrek’s majority shareholder, noted, “I am very happy with the accomplishments that were made in 2012 in product introductions, product improvements and quality. We focused on the customer and the changing marketplace and are very bullish on our brand’s position in the market as we look forward to 2013.”

Roadtrek recently introduced the new E-trek Class B on a Sprinter chassis, an environmentally responsible motorhome with solar, engine co-generation, fuel cell, and lithium battery options.

“The E-trek leads the way in the RV and van marketplace, focusing on addressing the environmental issues people have with motorhomes,” said Hammill. “Class B motorhomes are the most environmentally responsible motorhomes already and the E-trek takes it to the next level. With IOP’s confidence and support we will continue to lead the marketplace in engineering and manufacturing the best products in our market.”

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Roadtrek N-6 Active Showcased on ‘Take It All’

December 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Roadtrek's N-6 Active Class B

Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc.’s N-6 Active Class B coach recently appeared on the NBC show “Take It All,” starring Howie Mandel as host, according to a press release.

The airing ran on Dec. 13 and can be viewed by accessing http://www.nbc.com/take-it-all/video/night-4 then scroll downto Full Episodes—EP4: “Night 4”.

“Take It All” is a high-stakes game show based on one of the most popular holiday party games in America, often called “White Elephant” or “Yankee Swap.”

Jim Hammill, president of the Kitchener, Ontario-based company, noted, “Roadtrek was honored to have the new N-6 Active family vehicle featured as a prize on NBC’s series premier of “Take It All.”

The N-6 Active features seating for six with four swivel captains’ seats in the front and middle rows, sleeping accommodations for five (including folding rear sofa bed and an upper bunk), huge storage areas, refrigerator, sink and running hot and cold water. Other amenities include swing-down television, GPS/DVD/ Bluetooth/ satellite radio, rear heat and air conditioning, a five-gallon spring water tank, microwave, LED lighting, 110-volt outlets and USB ports for all seats.

For more information visit www.roadtrek.com.

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Roadtrek Debuts Eco-Friendly RS E-Trek B Van

October 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. has introduced the new RS E-Trek Class B motorhome, built on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis and incorporating the latest technology into Roadtrek’s best-selling RS platform.

“Roadtrek’s design incorporates technology that will give the owner greater ability to be independent, have full capability to dry camp for extended periods, all while being environmentally conscious,” said Jim Hammill, president of Kitchener, Ontario-based Roadtrek. “There has never been an RV like this, and we are extremely pleased to offer this new product. The introduction of this model is industry leading, environmentally responsible, all electric, all with no loss of functionality.”

The E-Trek was built using the most environmentally conscious materials that are e-certified, and are manufactured using high levels of recycled materials. Features include:

• Mercedes Sprinter Van (170-inch wheelbase), with Bluetec technology, and bio-diesel fuel capability.

• Propane-free operation.

• New Interior styling, including touring captains seats in second row.

• New exterior styling, full-body paint and tone-on-tone colors.

• 250-watt solar charging.

• EFOY fuel cell generator option.

• Engine generation using additional engine generator/alternator.

• 2500-watt Inverter.

• Surge protection and power monitoring.

• Optional lithium Ion batteries.

Andy Weller, Roadtrek’s co-chairman and CEO stated, “This unit utilizes the latest electrical capabilities available to achieve the environmental improvements and camping independence that our customers have been demanding. Our Engineering team has worked extremely hard to create something not just new, but actually a much different and easier product to use for the consumer.”

Roadtrek has begun manufacturing of the E-Trek and is taking orders through its dealer network.

 

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Roadtrek Ranger RT Eliminates Propane Usage

August 8, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Roadtrek's new Ranger RT

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 sales@roadtrek.com.

 

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Roadtrek’s N6-Active Provides Space, Flexibility

December 5, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

The pop-up roof on Roadtrek's N6 adds headroom

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.

Captain seats swivel in Roadtrek's N6 to surround a portable table

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 sales@roadtrek.com.

 

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‘B’-Builder Roadtrek Joins Elkhart Open House

September 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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 paulc@roadtrek.com, visit www.roadtrek.com/PR or call 888-ROADTREK (762-3873).

 

 

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Equity Firm IOP Expounds on Roadtrek Stake

April 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Jeff Hananmaayer, Roadtrek chairman

Jeff Hanemaayer, Roadtrek co-chairman

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.

Andy Weller, Roadtrek co-chairman

Andy Weller, Roadtrek co-chairman

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.

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