Shipshewana, Ind.-based KZRV LP has introduced the Durango Sandlewood Edition fifth-wheel, featuring an infused champagne full-body exterior. According to a press release, the new model is available in both the mid-profile Durango 1500 and full-profile Durango fifth-wheels.
The Sandlewood Edition is trimmed out with black accents and will have the newly redesigned Durango aerodynamic front cap. Available in over 20 floorplans, models range from 27 feet, 11 inches to 39 feet in length with weights running from 7,100 to 11,000 pounds. MSRP’s start around $37,900.
In addition, Durango fifth-wheels are covered by KZRV’s two-year warranty that protects against defects in materials and workmanship.
“We are excited to offer full-body color in the Durango line,” said Andy Baer, vice president of sales. “Durango has always brought unmatched craftsmanship and functionality to our customers. We will be introducing the Sandlewood Edition at the Elkhart County RV Open House.”
Baer added, “This year, KZ will be displaying product lines at two locations. Our primary location will be at County Road 6 and County Road 15 in Elkhart. As an added convenience, dealers are always welcome to view products at our corporate headquarters in Shipshewana.”
Dates for KZ’s fall open house are Sept. 17-20. For more information e-mail email@example.com.
Towable builder EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC will be introducing several new floorplans, decors and innovations during a Sept. 18-20 dealer open house along Executive Pkwy. near the RV/MH Hall of Fame.
Running in conjunction with the 5th Annual Elkhart County RV Open House, EverGreen will be displaying products from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to showing product, EverGreen will be hosting a hog roast on Sept. 19 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
“The New EverGreen is all about preserving the legacy elements that have shaped and built the EverGreen brand, such as durability, quality construction practices and lightweight, easy-to-tow travel trailers and fifth-wheel brands,” said EverGreen President Mark Boessler. “It is also about keeping pace with what our dealers and customers want – the best products at the best price. I am confident that based on our nationwide dealer input, we will be releasing products at our open house that will surely impress both our dealers and retail customers.”
Planned introductions include:
• Bay Hill – Being unveiled for the first time, the new fifth-wheel line features some “must-see industry-first innovations,” according to EverGreen.
• Sun Valley – An all-new line of competitively priced travel trailers with luxury styling and quality design features.
• Ascend – EverGreen’s lightest and most affordable travel trailer built for value, durability and ease of tow-ability.
• EverLite – EverGreen’s ground-breaking and industry leading flagship brand which has a reputation for quality and innovation.
• iGo – An easy-to-tow travel trailer that has quickly become one of EverGreen’s hottest sellers.
• Lifestyle Luxury RV – A preview of EverGreen’s high-end, feature-rich premier line of fifth wheels.
Editor’s Note: Robert W. Baird & Co. issued a client newsletter to investors following the April towable sales report from Statistical Surveys Inc. The following offers a summary of the results.
U.S. towable retail up in June. Dealer towable unit sales increased 2% in June, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.. The slight increase in June follows a strong increase in May, which was revised to +15% from +11%. Before adjusting for late-reporting states, U.S. towable retail is up 9% so far this year.
Towable demand up 2% in June. U.S. towable unit sales rose 2% in June and are up 9% YTD. Travel trailer registrations increased 2% (+10% YTD), while fifth-wheel sales grew just under 1% (+4% YTD).
Inventory. Results of our June RV dealer survey suggested that inventory has thinned after relatively aggressive stocking earlier in the year. Presently, we believe dealers are content with current inventory levels, and will reassess inventory needs as the September 18-19th open house approaches.
Thor. According to Statistical Surveys, Thor’s share of the combined travel trailer and fifth-wheel market has dipped to 38.1% from 39.2% through June. After adjusting for late-reporting states, we project Thor’s U.S. retail in May/June increased 7-10%, which compares to our expectation for 10% growth in May/June/July for Thor in North America. Given the unknown impact of July, Canada and late-reporting states, our expectation for 10% retail growth seems reasonable. Recall that Thor reported strong preliminary wholesale sales results for the July quarter, including an 18% increase in RV wholesale revenue and a 20% jump in the RV backlog (includes motorhome and towables).
Winnebago. According to the source, Winnebago is gaining a little share in towables after its Sunnybrook acquisition, albeit off a small base. Winnebago increased its YTD towables share from 0.6% to 0.8%. We expect the Winnebago brand to have a larger impact over time.
This summary of a Baird research report is not intended as investment advice. To participate in Baird surveys and receive research reports, contact Craig R. Kennison, CFA, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Topeka, Ind.-based towable builder Starcraft RV Inc. will host an open house September 18-20 as part of the 5th Annual Elkhart County RV Open House Week. According to a press release, Starcraft will be displaying product from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2702 Ada Dr. in Elkhart, just off of County Road 6.
During the week, Starcraft will showcase 35 towable models from its 2013 towable lineup, 18 of which are new or redesigned. On display will be the new AR-ONE WideBody series, an addition to the popular AR-ONE, a lightweight, family-friendly unit. Also, the Travel Star EXP will feature two new floorplans, one with a slideout and another featuring a king-sized bed.
“With our display being one-third larger than last year we are very excited for the open house.” said Starcraft National Sales Manager Brent Froman. “We have several new price points being featured, so we have some big expectations for this year’s open house.”
Starcraft, a division of Jayco Inc., will use the open house as a platform to introduce many “exciting changes and brand new additions” to its camping trailer offerings, including a new Comet RT Off-Road series and new floorplans that will appeal to a broader camping trailer market.
Starcraft’s regional sales managers will be on-site during the open house hours Tuesday through Thursday to talk with dealers. “We enjoy the open house because it lets us reconnect with our current dealers, connect with new ones and show everything Starcraft has to offer for 2013.” commented Froman.
In addition to the units, Starcraft will also provide lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday for visitors.
CrossRoads RV is constructing a new corporate headquarters building at its manufacturing complex in Topeka, Ind., according to a news release.
The project will consist of the construction of a new 22,000-square-foot corporate facility adjacent to CrossRoads RV’s current manufacturing campus and will support the creation of up to 10 new positions, as well as the retention of current staffing levels.
The Town of Topeka council, at the request of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp. (LCEDC), approved the use of tax abatements on the investment into the new facility at their Aug. 13 meeting, estimated to be valued at around $2 million dollars in total.
“We are grateful for the continued support we receive and the partnership we have created with the Town of Topeka,” said Michael Kloska, executive vice president of towable builder CrossRoads RV, a division of Thor Industries Inc. “Building our new corporate headquarters in Topeka demonstrates our commitment to the community. The Town of Topeka continues to offer a quality workforce and a pro-business environment, which makes it a great place to do business.”
“CrossRoads RV continues to be a great partner in the Town of Topeka, and we’re very excited that they continue to expand their operations within LaGrange County,” said Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO of the LCEDC. “Crossroads RV’s commitment to growing their company in LaGrange County is proof of the high quality work force and community support that companies like Crossroads RV receive from our LaGrange County communities. The addition of a brand new corporate headquarters building right on the main corridor into Topeka will demonstrate to visitors and residents alike that Topeka is a great place to do business.”
Open Range RV Co. will be expanding operations at its facilities in Shipshewana, Ind., according to a press release from the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp. (LCEDC).
The company plans to add a 15,000-square-foot addition to its customer service center located just east of the company’s main Shipshewana campus. The release stated that these investments “will allow Open Range RV to operate more efficiently and provide a higher level of service to their customers by having more parts and inventory on hand for custom projects as well as warranty work.” The project will also result in the addition of 10-15 new employees with an average wage of $45,000/year.
The Town of Shipshewana has initially approved a 10-year tax abatement request from the company at the request of the LCEDC. “Open Range RV has been a great partner in Shipshewana and LaGrange County, and we’re happy to continue to support their continued growth as one of our largest employers” said Roger Yoder, president of the Shipshewana Town Council.
“Our customer demand continues to necessitate our expansion at our home in Shipshewana” said Randy Graber, president of Open Range . “We are excited that our customers continue to appreciate the high quality units that we produce, and their dedication to our brand makes us continue to work hard and innovate for them.”
Open Range, founded in 2007, produces fifth-wheels and travel trailers under the Open Range, Mesa Ridge, Journeyer, Residential, Roamer and Light brand names. Since its inception, the company has earned several Quality Circle Awards from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA).
“Open Range RV’s continued growth in our community is a tribute to the quality craftsmanship that Open Range RV exemplifies, and truly is a testament to Open Range’s motto: “Enjoy the Journey!” We look forward to continuing to work with Open Range RV Co. as they build upon their successes in LaGrange County,” said Keith Gillenwater, LCEDC president and CEO.
Topeka, Ind.-based towable builder CrossRoads RV has increased its sales team by 25% across all divisions, representing an “ongoing commitment to dealer relations,” according to a press release.
Matt Thompson, general manager, noted that Crossroads has increased its business by nearly 50% in the past year. “As we continue to grow we can’t lose sight of the great dealer relationships we have strived so hard to achieve,” he said. “By adding additional regional sales managers, we create smaller territories which allow our sales teams to deliver the best possible service while developing the most fundamental part of dealer support relationships.”
General Manager Tom Montague stated, “We are developing our sales teams to be the best in the industry. Dealer sales Training, show promotions and providing helpful information to retail customers are just a few of the things we’ve tasked our sales teams with and want them to be the best at. As Crossroads RV grows, our dealers’ expectations also grow and it’s important to us that we exceed those expectations
“We believe in hiring the best and brightest. Our people are out to provide ‘rock star’ service to CrossRoads dealers,” said President Don Emahiser. “We looked for individuals who believe in the value of relationships and creating partnerships with our dealers, and we’re excited about the people we hired.”
KZRV LP announced the hiring of Dave Boggs as director of marketing, a newly created position for the Shipshewana, Ind.-based towable builder.
According to a press release, Boggs previously served as director of marketing for CrossRoads/Redwood RV and brings more than 15 years of RV industry experience.
“We are very excited to have Dave join our company as the new director of marketing,” said Andy Baer, vice president of sales and marketing. “He has a wealth of experience and a tremendous amount of energy. His talents are sure to make this newly created director-level position a success.”
“I couldn’t be happier to join a company with the guiding principles of doing the right thing and treating people the way you want to be treated,” said Boggs. “KZ offers its customers great products backed by some of the best warranties in the industry.”
Boggs can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.
Topeka, Ind.-based towable builder CrossRoads RV has completed its extreme water testing of the new Sunset Trail B.O.S.S.(Bi-lateral Operating Slideout System) front cap slideout.
According to a press release, CrossRoads enlisted the help of the local fire department to simulate heavy rain conditions.
“They used 12,000 gallons of water in the testing, which is equal to 300 inches of rain. The B.O.S.S. front cap slideout was water tight in both the closed and extended positions,” said Director of Marketing Dave Boggs.
Click here to view the water test.
CrossRoads RV is a division of Thor Industries Inc. For more information on the company and its products visit www.crossroadsrv.com.
Towable builder Open Range RV Co. is moving ahead with a planned expansion at its headquarters in Shipshewana, Ind., that would include additional manufacturing space, new equipment and the hiring of 10 to 15 workers.
According to a report in the Goshen News, Open Range has applied for a 10-year phase-in tax abatement with the Shipshewana clerk-treasurer’s office. Estimated costs for the expansion are $580,880 for construction on the addition to its current facilities and $475,000 for manufacturing equipment. The newspaper reported that Open Range filed a request for a little more than $1 million in tax abatements.
In a separate report by KPCnews.com, the LaGrange County Plan Commission has given the go-ahead for the construction.
“This growth will allow the company to improve product flow and production,” Open Range Production Manager Jason Martin told the commission. Open Range President Randy Graber could not be reached for comment.
Open Range, founded in August of 2007 by industry veteran Graber, builds travel trailers and fifth-wheels under the brand names Light, Open Range, Mesa Ridge, Journeyer, Residential, and Roamer along with the Rolling Thunder toy hauler line.