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‘RV Buddies’ Explores Macerator Technology

December 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

RV Buddies logoSani-Con developer Lanny Stegal spent some time with “RV Buddies” Host and Producer Mark Summers and shared his in-depth knowledge of the development of macerator technology and the easy-to-use Sani-Con system. The video is available on RV Buddies Online (www.rvbuddiesonline.com) for viewing now.

Every RVer has seen the infamous scene where Robin Williams attempts to empty his holding tanks in the movie “RV.” While no RVer has had an audience or accident to that level, accidents can happen – from mild to very unpleasant. Stegal is the expert and Summers poses questions you just might be too embarrassed to ask.

“Understanding the workings of these devices makes maintenance a lot easier,” says Summers. “And if there’s one piece of RV maintenance RVers want to handle quickly and easily, it’s emptying your black water holding tank.”

Stegal developed macerator technology for Thetford Corp. along with the Sani-Con product. During the interview, Stegal covers the macerator in detail and provides an in-depth look at the benefits of the Sani-Con system. Available in fixed and portable models, the Sani-Con system gives RVers with drop-through toilet models the benefits of macerator technology, plus the ability to pump black water contents great distances. Dumping tanks at home is made much simpler with the Sani-Con system – especially when the homeowner has a “P” trap for draining their pool.

This episode is live online for viewing now 24/7, as are all other RV Buddies videos.

“RV Buddies” is an RV adventure-lifestyle show featuring reviews of RVs, accessories and gear. The show chronicles Mark, Elise, Robert and their RV Buddies, Toby and Alex, as they visit America’s most beautiful campgrounds and resorts. The program is distributed as an Internet television production on its own website, on Apple iTunes and through other distribution channels.

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EPA Recognizes Thetford’s ‘Green’ RV Care Line

December 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

 

Thetford's "green" RV care product line

Thetford's "green" RV care product line

Committed to developing high-quality, “green” products, Thetford Corp. has introduced its new line of Design for the Environment (DfE)–recognized RV cleaning products. This eco-friendly line meets the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) DfE program’s rigorous criteria without sacrificing performance, according to a news release.

Safer for humans and the environment, the five-product line includes UltraFoam Black Streak Remover, UltraFoam Awning Cleaner, Wash & Wax, Mildew Stain Remover and Hard Water Spot Remover. Non-toxic and biodegradable, it’s packaged in bottles made out of recyclable plastic that contain 25% post-consumer recycled content.

“Since RV cleaners are used outdoors, they must meet even stricter requirements than household products,” said Mary Burrows, Thetford’s manager of chemical development. “We will continue working with the EPA to produce more environmentally-responsible products in the future.”

The EPA founded the DfE program to reduce pollution through prevention. All products carrying the EPA/DfE logo do not contain inorganic phosphates, hazardous solvents or environmentally harmful surfactants, and use only the safest possible ingredients while maintaining or improving product performance.

Thetford’s UltraFoam Black Streak Remover delivers a thick foam that clings to and coats surfaces, quickly and easily getting rid of black streaks, bugs and other tough soils. Eliminating mold, mildew and leaf stains, as well as sap and bird droppings, the UltraFoam Awning Cleaner is safe for both vinyl and other fabrics.

The company’s RV Wash & Wax is a professional-strength formula that removes the toughest soils, while leaving a protective shine. Its Mildew Stain Remover is chlorine-free and color-safe on all surfaces. Lifting mineral deposits and erasing tough hard water spots, the Hard Water Spot Remover can be used indoors and outdoors.

Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Thetford Corp. is the world’s leading supplier of sanitation and refrigeration products for the recreational vehicle, marine and heavy-duty truck industries. Thetford is a privately-held company with eight manufacturing facilities in four nations.

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Thetford’s Norcold Brand Marks 50th Anniversary

December 9, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Norcold's 17 cubic foot fridgeFounded in 1959 to manufacture and sell specialty refrigerators for the RV and marine industries, Thetford Marine’s Norcold brand is proud to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Selling more than 3 million refrigerators/freezers worldwide, Norcold strives to exceed the needs of a demanding marketplace, according to a news release.

As the recreational industry prospered, so did Norcold. Rapidly growing from a small, family company in California to a world leader, Norcold was acquired by the Stolle Corp., an Alcoa company, in 1963. To handle rapid growth, Norcold moved to its current Sidney, Ohio, location in 1964.

When a competitor bought its primary supplier of cooling units in 1988, Norcold responded quickly and dynamically. Within a year, the company built a manufacturing plant in nearby Gettysburg, Ohio, that produced higher quality products than its previous vendor.

Norcold’s growth and innovation continues today, with the introduction of features such as the water-in-door Chilled Water Dispenser. The company recently launched the largest gas-absorption RV refrigerator on the market, the 17-cubic-foot PolarMAX RF (shown above at left).

Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Thetford Corp. is the world’s leading supplier of sanitation and refrigeration products for the recreational vehicle, marine and heavy-duty truck industries. Thetford is a privately held company with eight manufacturing facilities in four countries.

Thetford subsidiaries include Norcold, America’s leading manufacturer of gas-absorption refrigerators and freezers for the RV, marine and truck markets; Tecma, a producer of fine-china toilets and powerful waste-transfer systems based in Italy; and Spinflo, a unit in England that manufactures high-quality cooking and heating appliances as well as accessories.

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Thetford’s SmartDrain Offers Cleaner Solution

December 9, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Thetford's SmartDrainRV owners with standard gravity sewer systems often experience leaking, smelly hoses and unreliable hose-to-dump station connections. Thetford Corp.’s newest premium sewer system, the SmartDrain, one of several new products displayed at the 47th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., Dec. 1-3, solves all of these problems because it was designed with the assistance of RV enthusiasts through years of research at parks and campgrounds, according to a news release.

SmartDrain is a complete system containing everything needed for a smarter, cleaner sewer solution. Included in the system is a long-lasting, 15-foot SmartHose. Constructed from patent-pending ThermoLast, it’s ultra-pliable and extremely temperature- and UV-resistant. It’s also 46% more puncture-resistant than standard sewer hoses and 2.6 times less likely to leak from abrasion.

With a non-metal polymer coil, users won’t have to worry about cracks, dents or rust. This hose shrinks to a mere 5 feet for simple storage.

The SmartHose incorporates innovative SureLock fittings to provide fast, leak-proof connections with the nozzle. Constructed with industrial-grade metal cam-levers to tightly lock, the connections are similar to the ones on fire and industrial fuel hoses. The 90-degree nozzle fitting has a handle to keep users clean.

Also included with SmartDrain is an RV valve adapter, providing a quick connection to the SmartHose. Configured like a dial with four slots, the adapter tightly seals to the RV waste valve outlet. Featuring easy-to-grip handles, this adapter won’t break like traditional bayonet ears. It can be left on the hose for added convenience. SmartDrain’s end cap has a built-in tether to stay attached to the adapter.

SmartDrain features a Universal Sewer Fitting with handle for easy grip, ensuring a sanitary connection to the dump station. It’s compatible with 3-, 3 1/2- and 4-inch threaded sewer pipes and 3-inch and 4-inch press-fit sewer pipes, eliminating the need for weights to keep it in place during use.

Simple to store, SmartDrain’s hose ends lock together to prevent messes. The hose also fits into bumpers, ready for use when needed.

Contact Thetford, 7101 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Toll-free (800) 543-1219 or (734) 769-6000; Fax: (734) 769-2023. info@thetford.com; www.thetford.com.

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Retired Thetford Exec Ken West Passed Away Oct. 24

November 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

 

Ken West

Ken West

Longtime Thetford Corp. salesman Ken West passed away peacefully on Oct. 24 at his family home in Fullerton, Calif.

West retired in 2008 after a successful 34-year sales career in the RV industry.

During his time at Thetford, he was a multiple winner of the Thomas Crapper Award. A U.S. marine, he loved riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and spending time at his cabin in the mountains outside of Seattle, Wash.

He is survived by his wife, Jan, sister, four children and eight grandchildren. Donations can be made to the Orange County SPCA, www.orangecountyspca.org.

Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Thetford Corp. is the world’s leading supplier of sanitation and refrigeration products for the recreational vehicle, marine and heavy-duty truck industries. Thetford is a privately-held company with manufacturing facilities in four nations.

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Thetford Corp. Founder Celebrates 100th Birthday

October 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

 

RV industry pioneer Frank Sargent is flanked at the 100th birthday party by Peter Simmons (left) and Adrian Thompson (right), who were Thetford’s first “international” employees when the company expanded domestic operations to the UK in 1970. In an amazing show of family longevity, Sargent’s 99-year-old sister and 97-year-old brother were among those attending the celebration.

RV industry pioneer Frank Sargent is flanked at his 100th birthday party by Peter Simmons (left) and Adrian Thompson, who were Thetford’s first “international” employees when the company expanded domestic operations to the UK in 1970. In an amazing show of family longevity, Sargent’s 99-year-old sister and 97-year-old brother were among those attending the celebration.

RV industry pioneer Frank Sargent, Thetford Corp.’s co-founder, celebrated his 100th birthday in Naples, Fla., on Sept. 21.

Recognizing the need to make recreational life more pleasant through advancements in sanitation, Sargent and sons Charles “Bud” Sargent and Ron Sargent founded and incorporated the Thetford Engineering Co. in 1963, according to a corporate release.

Like many early entrepreneurial efforts of the 20th century, Thetford began as a fledgling company operating out of a garage in Thetford Township near Flint, Mich.

As a news release notes, within five years, Thetford began manufacturing three products it continues to successfully make today: slide-blade porcelain RV toilets in 1964; now world-famous Aqua-Kem, the RV industry’s first concentrated liquid holding tank deodorant, in 1967; and the world’s first two-piece, hand-carried portable toilet, Porta-Potti, in 1968.

Paced by those three products and Sargent’s leadership, Thetford quickly became what it is today: the world’s leading supplier of sanitation products for the RV, marine and heavy-duty truck industries.

“Frank was very active in the design arena and was constantly coming up with new product ideas for discussion,” said Earl Sweet, who became the company’s first non-family member employee in 1964 and retired from Thetford in 2002.

“Frank was a hard-working, self-educated gentleman who expected you to work as hard as he did,” Sweet added. “He is one man who I feel very fortunate to have known and I consider him a friend. He was a mentor to many people, especially those of us who were involved in starting Thetford.”

Theford was owned by members of the Sargent family until 1989 and currently is a privately-held, American-owned company with eight manufacturing facilities in four countries.

Currently headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Thetford subsidiaries include: Norcold, America’s leading manufacturer of recreational gas-absorption refrigerators and freezers; Tecma, a producer of fine-china toilets and powerful waste-transfer systems based in Italy; and Spinflo, a unit in England that makes high-quality cooking and heating appliances, as well as accessories.

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Jack Tierney Exits As CEO of Thetford/Norcold

August 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

 

Jack Tierney

Jack Tierney

Jack Tierney, president and CEO of Thetford Corp. and Norcold Inc., for the past 2 1/2 years is no longer with the company.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based corporation confirmed the development today (Aug. 10) for RVBUSINESS.com.

The corporation eliminated the position of CEO.  Michael J. Harris will assume oversight responsibility for Thetford Corp. in addition to his duties as COO of The Dyson Kissner Moran Corp., Thetford’s parent company.

In a news release, Harris explained, “The economy has impacted the RV Industry quite dramatically with production figures down over 50% in the U.S. and over 30% in Europe.  This is the fourth restructuring in the last 12 months as the company has aligned itself with industry dynamics.  This is an unfortunate result of this unprecedented economic environment. We thank Jack for his service over the past nine years.”

Tierney had served as president and CEO of Thetford Corp., including its subsidiary Norcold Inc. and its European operations, since Feb. 1, 2007.

He joined Thetford from its parent company in 2000 as CFO. He was promoted to senior vice president of North American Operations, in 2002, gaining responsibility for operational leadership and guidance of all of Thetford and Norcold business interests. Tierney was promoted to COO of North America in 2006, adding oversight of Thetford and Norcold’s sales and marketing and engineering departments.

Tierney has served the RV industry on a national level. He is currently serving a three-year term on the board of directors representing RV suppliers to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and is a candidate for re-election to a second three-year term. He was current chairman of the Membership Committee and member of the Public & Legislative Affairs Committee. He chaired the Nominating Committee in 2008. He also serves on the Public Relations Committee and RVDA/RVIA Certification Governing Board. He also served on the Committee on Excellence Replacement Parts Availability Task Force.

 Thetford Corp. is the world’s leading manufacturer of toilets and related sanitation products for recreational and camping vehicles and boats. Norcold, acquired in 1997, is one of the leading manufacturers of refrigerators used in recreational vehicles, truck cabs and powerboats.

In 2004, Thetford purchased Tecma, the leading producer of high-end macerating toilets for the European yacht industry, as well as macerating/waste transfer units for residential applications. Spinflo, acquired in 2005, is the leading producer of stoves for the U.K. recreational vehicle market. Together, they form a large international supplier of products to the recreational vehicle and marine industries, as well as portable toilets and coolers for leisure use. The group has manufacturing facilities in Michigan, Ohio, The Netherlands, England and Italy.

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Brawdy to Promote Thetford Eco-Friendly Products

June 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Nationally recognized “green” RVer Brian Brawdy will be in Ann Arbor, Mich., June 12 to tour Thetford Corp.’s world headquarters and manufacturing facilities. He will then join Thetford officials at the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) convention in Grand Rapids, June 13-16, to promote both the state of Michigan and a green RV lifestyle to hunters and fisherman.

Brawdy is known as an outdoor adventure expert and environmental pioneer. He has appeared on countless media outlets across North America.

Thetford Corp. has teamed up with Brawdy for a new product introduction initiative. Committed to developing high-quality green products, Thetford recently introduced a new line of Design for the Environment (DfE)-recognized RV care products. This eco-friendly line meets the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) DfE program’s rigorous criteria without sacrificing performance.

Safe for humans and the environment, the five-product line includes UltraFoam Black Streak Remover, UltraFoam Awning Cleaner, Wash & Wax, Mildew Stain Remover and Hard Water Spot Remover. Non-toxic and biodegradable, they are packaged in bottles made out of recyclable plastic, including 25% post-consumer recycled content.

“Since RV cleaners are used outdoors, they must meet even stricter requirements than household products,” said Mary Burrows, Thetford’s manager of chemical development. “We will continue working with the EPA to produce more environmentally-responsible products in the future.”

Thetford will host two press panels at the Outdoor Writers event. The first panel features representatives from the Michigan Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds and focuses on the RV industry, with an emphasis on RVing in Michigan. The second panel, featuring Brawdy and Burrows, centers on going green for RV sport vacations.

Thetford is the world’s leading supplier of sanitation and refrigeration products for the recreational vehicle, marine and heavy-duty truck industries. It is a privately held company with eight manufacturing facilities in four nations.

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