Shasta’s new Revere line of conventionally built travel trailers really hits the mark in towable luxury.
“We’re very pleased with Revere’s looks, inside and out,” Brad Whitehead, resident of Shasta, stated in a news release. “I think you’ll find its price on the attractive side, too.”
Outside, a one-piece seamless, fully walkable EPDM rubber roof and .024 aluminum exterior skin combine to provide long-lasting durability and easy maintenance on Revere’s 8-foot wide exterior. Revere is constructed on a cambered structural steel I-beam frame, including an integrated A-frame.
Inside, Revere boasts a true 7-foot interior ceiling height, 5/8-inch tongue-and-groove plywood floor decking, auto-ignition furnace w/wall thermostat and in-floor ducted heat.
Also included is a full-wall entertainment center that accommodates a 42-inch TV, a residential convertible sofa, glazed arched cathedral-style cabinet doors throughout, and super-deep 42-inch super slides. Kitchens include a three-burner cooktop with high-output front burner and electronic ignition, large oven, oversized deep-well 50/50 sinks, carousel microwave, double-door refrigerator, extremely comfortable dinettes with extra-large picture window, ball bearing drawers and an overhead skylight with pleated shade covering.
Bedrooms offer an innerspring queen mattress, extra-large cabinet over the queen bed, cable TV hookup, full-length shirt wardrobes and under-bed storage with gas struts. Bathrooms include an ABS tub/shower surround, marine toilet with foot flush, large sink and medicine cabinet with mirror.
Revere offers a Premium Camping Package and Luxury Camping Package, as well as a large selection of individual options, including a 15M BTU roof air upgrade, hide-a-bed sofa w/air mattress, 26-inch LED flat screen TV, electric awning, aluminum rims and pac-n-play door.
Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2011, Shasta Recreational Vehicles is the industry’s oldest brand name. Shasta is headquartered in Middlebury, Ind., and produces a wide variety of recreational vehicles that have satisfied America’s wanderlust for three generations. For more information, call (574) 825-7178.
Editor’s Note: The Goshen (Ind.) News published this summary of products made by Northern Indiana-based RV firms that were shown at the 48th Annual National RV Trade Show.
New and improved were the two popular words at the recent Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) trade show in Louisville, Ky.
Elkhart County companies involved in making recreational vehicles used the show to promote their products to dealers. Here are a few of the new offerings that were at the show.
Newmar Corp. of Nappanee unveiled its Ventana LE.
The Ventana LE will retail for $30,000 less than the company’s Ventana motorhome.
“Yet, we haven’t sacrificed eye appeal or popular features to hit this price point. When customers see the Ventana LE for the first time, the value will be obvious. We anticipate market share growth for our dealers and Newmar with this exciting product introduction,” said Pat Terveer, director of sales.
The Ventana LE features an aluminum-framed sidewall and roof construction on 16-inch centers. The motorhome is powered by a Cummins ISB 340 horsepower engine on a Freightliner chassis. The motorhome comes in 36-foot and 38-foot lengths.
Dometic presented 17 new products at the show, including:
- QuietZone Ducted AC that the company says increases airflow by 26% while decreasing noise and vibration.
- AlumaRoom, a snap-in-place patio room that features flexible windows and water funnels.
- Breathe Easy Air Purification that the company says can reduce volatile organic compounds by 57% and formaldehyde levels by 41% within a six-hour period.
- 9500E Power Lateral Arm Awning, a rafterless, remote-controlled awning with a wind sensor and pitch adjustment and other features.
- The LW3000 Plus portable digital inverter/gasoline generator. The company stated the unit can run for up to 10 hours.
- The SlideTopper cover that automatically rolls out to cover a slideout.
In addition, the company has added the Better Homes & Gardens mattress collection from Serta to its product lineup.
Starcraft of Topeka introduced the AR-ONE travel trailer and the Travel Star Expandable Sport 187TB lightweight travel trailer.
The company said the AR-ONE is an entry-level trailer with three floorplans in 14-, 15- and 16-foot lengths.
The trailers are designed to be towed by most minivans and SUVs and crossover vehicles.
The Travel Star has three tented bunks, laminated roof and sidewalls, microwave oven and large kitchen window.
Another introduction was the 12RT Camping Trailer. It features a sofa, porta-potti and has a 5-by-8 foot cargo deck.
Jayco Inc. of Middlebury introduced 8- and 10-foot Jay Series Sport camping trailers. The trailers come in two floorplans and feature E-Z Lube axles, reversible dinette cushions, an ice box and 10-gallon freshwater system.
Jayco also introduced the Skylark travel trailer with the 21FB floorplan. Upgrades include a fiberglass skin and roof, new graphics, black extrusion and baggage doors and aluminum split rims.
The Eagle 330RLTX travel trailer has been added to the Eagle lineup. The trailer features dual hide-a-beds in opposing slideouts, a side aisle leading to a bedroom and a large bathroom in the front of the unit.
Shasta, based in Middlebury, redesigned all its products that were shown at the RV show.
Shasta’s Revere travel trailer family features a one-piece seamless, fully walkable rubber roof and aluminum exterior skin. The trailers are built on structural steel I-beam frames that include an integrated A-frame.
The Revere trailers have seven-foot interior ceilings and a 5/8-inch tongue-and-groove plywood floor.
The Revere also comes in the LE line, which has a lower price.
Shasta’s new ultra-light lineup carries the Freeport name. The trailer has welded aluminum framing with R-9 insulation and a vapor barrier and heated/enclosed underbelly.
The Class C lineup is labeled Cynara.
The Class C’s feature fiberglass roofs and 2-inch laminated, vacuum-bonded sidewalls with aluminum frames.
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.”
A recent RV show in Edmonton, Alberta, gave consumers a glimpse of the future in RVs.
The Shasta trailer is built by Coachmen Recreational Vehicle Co. Constructed with today’s technology, the Shasta captures the look of the original with a lightning bolt stripe on the side and wings on the rear of the trailer, according to the Edmonton Journal.
Ted Trowsse said he signed up to sell Shasta trailers on the condition he could have the first one built to bring to the recent RV show. That meant he was displaying the trailer before dealers in the United States had an opportunity. The Shasta was one of several retro-look trailers at the show.
Trowsse said he hoped to sell 10 out of the show. Much of the interest came from owners of collector cars, some of whom are restoring original Shastas, who could see a Shasta behind their old vehicle. The trailer’s light weight (2,400 pounds) for the 12-foot model and 3,100 pounds for the 16-foot is an attractive feature for tow vehicles old and new.
There’s a market for people with smaller vehicles such as minivans or compact sport utilities, Trowsse said. However, old car guys are the biggest part of it. He intends to show off the Shasta at collector car shows this summer.
Other retro-look trailers at the show were the R-Pod and the T@b. The T@b lineup started with a teardrop trailer, but has grown to include the T@da — which is longer with rounded ends and a flat roof. The T@da has a regular price of $24,900.
From Class A motorhomes with a veranda to Class C’s on steroids to a bumper-pull toy hauler with an airbrushed purple and black paint scheme, there were RVs for nearly every taste and pocketbook at the Edmonton show.
The best prices tended to be on units that dealers had bought before the loonie dropped to its current level of 80 cents against the U.S. dollar. The slumping Canadian dollar has seen increases of thousands of dollars on recently ordered RVs.
Walter Dubecki, sales manager at Western RV Country in Leduc, Alberta, said buyers can save thousands of dollars by purchasing a unit out of a dealer’s stock rather than ordering a unit.
Two travel trailers built by Coachmen stood out as good values — the Aristocrat sold by Carefree RV for $15,995 and the Dutchmen Sport priced at $16,365 by Northern Lights RV. Show visitors lined up to check out the R-Pod, manufactured by Forest River Inc., during the show’s opening night. Hill said his staff sold one R-Pod on opening night.
Hill first saw the R-Pod during a show in Indiana for Forest River dealers in late October. Production is ramping up on the trailers, but all floor plans are not yet available. Those additional floor plans will become available in the coming months.
The R-Pod designer aimed to build a light, strong trailer that could be pulled by vehicles with 3,500-pound towing capacity such as minivans, crossovers and SUVs.
“We’ve had a lot of people in their mid-20s who normally would not look at travel trailers who see it and say, ‘I’d own one of those,'” Hill said.
For decades, Class C motorhomes were built on cutaway van chassis. The van front and chassis was combined with a motorhome body that included a portion that overhangs the cab. However, in recent years a new style of Class C has appeared that uses a conventional truck chassis. Several examples were on display at the show, including models built on Chevrolet Kodiak, International and Freightliner chassis. Factory and dealer representatives refer to these units as “Class C’s on steroids.”
For some buyers, an attractive feature with these motorhomes is the towing capacity that can exceed 15,000 pounds. Race car owners, for example, could tow their competition vehicle behind the motorhome.
But Larry Luther, Class C regional sales manager for Gulf Stream Coach, explained that there’s another way SuperNova motorhomes, built on an International truck chassis, could make it to the races. The roof is strong enough that it can be used as an observation deck for watching, for example, a NASCAR race or a fireworks display.
The SuperNova, with tow capacities up to 15,000 lb., has “sold great for us,” Luther said, explaining sales have totalled about 600 units a year in its first two years on the market.
The Canadian price starts at $210,000 for the SuperNova, which is equipped with a 6.0-litre V8 diesel engine — the same engine International supplied to Ford as the Powerstroke diesel — an Allison automatic transmission, twin 70 U.S. gallon fuel tanks and a built-in Onan diesel generator.
The Jayco Embark comes equipped with a 20,000-lb. hitch. It is equipped with a 330 Cummins engine and Allison automatic.
Al Schafer, an RV City sales consultant, said the Embark, which has just begun rolling off the production line, is new for 2009.
The Embark is equipped with an 8,000-watt diesel generator and a 1,800-watt inverter so that occupants will always have power even if hookups aren’t available.
RV City offered the Embark and a new Honda CR-V sport utility at the show special price of $281,783.
Schafer said the Embark will be available with a radar system that will scan the road ahead for obstacles. This could be handy when weather or light conditions limit the driver’s ability to see.
The Bigfoot Class C, built on a Chev Kodiak chassis at the company’s factory in Armstrong, B.C., uses lightweight construction. This motorhome, also equipped with an Allison automatic, offers the Duramax diesel engine as an option, giving it the pulling power to tow, for example, a horse trailer. List price equipped with the Duramax is $220,700.
The Coachmen Leprechaun is a Class C with a more conventional appearance since it’s built on a Ford van chassis, but it has interior finishing that Western RV’s Dubecki says moves it into the class of a yacht or a penthouse. The interior features fine cabinetry and other features that set it apart.
For example, instead of the standard dinette booth, the Leprechaun has a couch and table.
Dubecki said the Leprechaun would be a good choice for a couple who might want to use it to tour Canada or the U.S. The Leprechaun, equipped with 6.8-litre V10 gasoline engine, is priced at $89,900.
Dubecki said most people would never own a motorhome long enough or drive far enough to make up the thousands of dollars in additional cost of a diesel engine.
The MXT toy hauler, built by KZ RV LP, caught the eye of visitors to the Trailblazer RV display. The optional airbrushed purple and black paint scheme made the MXT a trailer to remember. Trailblazer sales manager Bill Burnett said the lightweight trailer was being called “the purple people pleaser.”