DRV LLC, the Howe, Ind.-based luxury fifth-wheel manufacturer, announced the delivery of serial number 6,000, a Mobile Suite, to Southern RV in Jonesboro, Ga. This unit represents a nice milestone for both, Southern RV and DRV, according to a DRV news release.
“We are very excited to deliver No. 6,000 to one of our top dealers in the country. Building this unit lets us all reflect on how far we’ve come as a manufacturer and how well we’ve done over the last several years with our luxury fifth-wheels,” stated Chad Olinger, DRV’s East Coast sales manager.
The 38-foot Mobile Suite is a brand new design for DRV, encompassing a new walk-in front wardrobe, great private bathroom with a new 48-inch shower and the utilization of their most popular living and kitchen configuration.
Brad Walden of Southern RV reflects on the relationship with DRV, saying “Since our partnership began with DRV in 2008, we have had great success with their products. We were given No. 5,500 as well, and plan on seeing No. 6,500, and No. 7,000! This vehicle epitomizes the needs of a large customer base for us and we bank on DRV’s continued development of luxury fifth-wheels to ensure our success. Frankly, we couldn’t have had a better match made in heaven.”
“We have had a great relationship with Southern RV since they started representing DRV in Atlanta,” said Olinger. “Brad and his staff are great representatives of our products and continue to build an even better brand image for our company. From their sales to their service, they understand what we are trying to accomplish with our products and they do a very good job of getting that message to the customers.”
He added, “It takes financial accountability, customer appreciation and development, a true desire to service after the sale, and a spirited behavior to be successful these days – it’s not all about good ideas.”
RV enthusiasts turned out in high numbers as the crowded show floors resulted in steady sales this past week at the 44th Annual Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation & Camping Show, as well as the 26th Annual Richmond Camping RV Expo, both sponsored by DISH Network and GEICO Powersports.
Both shows reported strong sales and increased attendance over 2010 with an 18% increase in Minneapolis and a 14% increase in Richmond, according to a news release.
According to Vilma Fraguada, regional manager of the Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation & Camping Show, “The show is an indication that the RV industry has emerged from its challenges in the past few years. The response from RV dealers and exhibitors alike was overwhelmingly positive.”
Mike Pearo, general sales manager of Hilltop Trailer Sales, commented, “Thursday was a fantastic day for us – the best Thursday we’ve ever had. We increased our sales over last year with a lot of good, quality buyers.”
Mark Pettersen of Coates RV agreed. “We were very pleased with the results of the show. Given the past few years, we were surprised to see many of our larger, more expensive units being purchased. This is definitely a sign that the RV business and consumer interest has bounced back.”
Jeff Nobbe of Shorewood RV concurred, “The show was great. Traffic was significantly up from last year with our sales increased by over 50%.”
Similar results were seen at the Richmond Camping RV Expo. John Patterson, owner of Southern RV said, “We had a tremendous show. Attendees came ready to buy and we sold double what we did last year. It was definitely exciting and encouraging to see the strong interest in RVing from customers.”
According to Jeff Haughton, regional vice president of the Richmond Camping RV Expo, “We believe we are seeing strong support for the RV lifestyle from the general public. RVing continues to be a superior and affordable vacation option for many families.”
Show Manager Dave Body added, “The attendance was great with a lot more selling than last year. Many dealers reported their sales were doubled.”
The shows are sponsored by Affinity Events, a division of Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), which owns and operates recreation-focused consumer shows throughout North America. AGI also is the parent company of RVBUSINESS.com.
After weeks of setting appointments, visiting dealers, product demonstrations and countless conversations, everything came together recently for Redwood RV as it delivered its first luxury fifth-wheel to Southern RV just outside of Atlanta, Ga.
“I couldn’t be more excited about being chosen as the first retailer for Redwood,” Brad Walden, Southern RV, stated in a news release. “Being a well-known niche retailer of premium fifth-wheels, I realized we definitely wanted to be on board for Don’s new re-interpretation of the luxury segment. Now taking delivery of one, my excitement is even more elevated. I believe this will be an absolute home run with consumers and may define a whole new segment of premium fifth-wheels.”
“We’ve definitely created something special and we are excited to finally show it to the world.,” said Tom Montague, national sales marketing manager for Syracuse, Ind.-based Redwood RV, a division of Thor Industries Inc.
“Dealer reaction to the product was phenomenal and has exceeded our expectations, but now the real work starts and we are looking forward to the 2011 show season,” Montague added.
Redwood opened its doors on Aug. 4. The power was shut off for the first two weeks as Don Emahiser, Ray Patterson, Dan Kreider and Montague put together their strategies for the new company.
“It was and continues to be a true team effort,’’ says Emahiser, president of Redwood RV. “Without the tremendous support of our suppliers and the unparalleled resources of Thor, this wouldn’t have been possible in such a short amount of time. I’m extremely proud of everyone involved.”