Veurinks’ RV Center, Grand Rapids, Mich., is marking its 50th year as a Holiday Rambler, a milestone that was recognized by the Holiday Rambler RV Club at its rally in May.
According to a press release, Veurinks’ RV has found a novel way to promote its longtime association with the iconic brand. Recently Tim Veurink, son of the company’s founder Howard Veurink and current president, had the opportunity to buy an all original 1974 12-foot Holiday Ramblette travel trailer. As it turned out, it was the very first new Holiday Rambler that Veurink sold off the showroom floor when he was 16 years old.
“I received a message with some photos via Facebook from a lady south of town wanting to know if I could give her a value of her 1974 12-foot Holiday Ramblette,” Veurink said. “When I saw the photos, I knew immediately that this was the one that he I sold 39 years ago since there were very few 12-footers made and Veurinks had only sold one. I struck a deal with the seller and pulled the trailer back home and it now sits in the dealership’s showroom.”
Anticipating the 50th anniversary, Veurink said he had been looking for a 1963 Holiday for several years that would represent the first new Holiday Rambler trailer sold by the dealership. “I did not want a big project of reconditioning, but I just could not find one that was in good enough condition,” he said. “The 1974 was in amazing condition, all original, and since this was the unit that I had sold in 1974 we thought it would have a great story and I just had to buy it.”
Veurink said that the Ramblette has been a big hit, adding, “Often people ask if they can buy it but it is not for sale.”
Ramsey and Cheryl Dersken were the lucky winners out of 97 semi-finalists and won a new 2010 13FK KZ Sportsmen Classic travel trailer during Veurinks’ RV Center’s ”Big Event Open House ” Saturday (April 24). The event was sponsored by WLAV radio, KZRV LP, Shipshewana, Ind., and the Grand Rapids, Mich., RV dealership.
The Derskens’ were overjoyed as they shared with Tim Veurink, president of Veurinks’ RV, how their 20-year-old folding camping trailer had deteriorated to the point were they could not use it any more and now they were camping in a tent.
They also shared with Veurink their passion for camping and that they recently had a streak of camping for at least one day a month for 38 consecutive months.
The Derskens said that they love state parks and one of their favorite things to do is camp at Tahquamenon Falls State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on New Year’s Day. “Our motto is ‘Go RVing with Us’ so it was great to see the KZ Classic go to someone like Ramsey and Cheryl who really appreciate the RV lifestyle,” Verurink said.
The KZ Classic giveaway drawing lasted over a five-week period with a WLAV radio blitz along and 50 local billboards.
The contest was managed by the Paul Miles Agency of Grand Rapid. The event was also supported with direct mail and an e-blast. Both sales and lot traffic were brisk during this period and there were more than 300 people in attendance the day of the giveaway.
Photos of the event can be viewed at www.veurinksrv.com
Veurinks’ RV Center in Grand Rapids, Mich., has taken delivery of the first towable units manufactured by the new Monaco RV LLC.
The dealer took delivery of three new 2010 Holiday Rambler towable products this month, Tim Veurink, president, announced in a news release. Veurinks’ RV Center will carry the full line of the Holiday Rambler brands, he said.
Veurink expects gas motorhomes to arrive the end of July and new diesels before the end of summer. Veurinks’ will also be aggressively discounting the few remaining 2009s to make room for the new models, he said.
Veurink’s RV Center is the nation’s oldest Holiday Rambler dealership.
In June Navistar International Corp. picked up the Holiday Rambler brand and manufacturing facilities from the assets of the old Monaco Coach Corp.
“We look forward to working with a financially sound company like Navistar who like us has a rich history of customer support and satisfaction,” said Veurink.
“When you sell a brand for 46 years, you develop a very loyal customer base of owners of that brand who frankly can’t see themselves buying any other brand but a Holiday Rambler,” he said. He noted that over those 46 years they have partnered with four different owners of the Holiday Rambler brand: founder Richard Klingler, Harley Davidson, Monaco Coach and now Navistar.
“Change is never easy but I can honestly say that every owner of Holiday Rambler has helped the product evolve into a better RV and I believe
Navistar is capable of taking that evolution to a whole new level,” Veurink said.
It was 1963 when Howard Veurink, then owner of Veurinks’ RV Center, first signed a dealer agreement with Klingler. That afternoon Veurink towed home a 19-foot rear gaucho Holiday Rambler travel trailer and parked it on his rented lot. By that evening he had sold his first Holiday Rambler. Since that time, the Veurink family has sold and serviced several thousand Holiday Rambler towable and motorized products.
The owners of about 190 Holiday Rambler diesel pusher motorhomes manufactured by Monaco Coach Corp. — members of the Ramblin’ Pushers chapter of the national Holiday Rambler RV Club — are gathered this week at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind.
“We don’t call it a rally,” said chapter President Dick Reidenbach of Indianapolis. “We call it a maintenance session and we will have almost 100 technical sessions over the course of the week.”
“The mission of our chapter is to help educate members on the operation and repair of Holiday Rambler diesel pushers,” Reidenbach said.
This evening (May 4) roundtable sessions will be conducted among owners of the various Holiday Rambler brands. “One of the greatest sources of information for resolving problems with a motorhome are people who own the same coaches that you do,” Reidenbach said.
All this as Monaco Coach Corp., Coburg, Ore., which filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in March, awaits finalization of a $52 million deal in bankruptcy court through which most of Monaco’s assets are to be sold to Chicago-area based Navistar International Corp.
Pat Carroll, Monaco Coach Corp. vice president of product development, was in attendance at the Elkhart County rally as was Veurink’s RV Center, Grand Rapid, Mich., the oldest Holiday Rambler dealership in the country.
“Pat Carroll told us that it’s been a long six months, but that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that Monaco is definitely on the uptick,” said Reidenbach, who three weeks ago bought a Holiday Rambler Navigator for cash from Lazydays RV SuperCenter in Seffner, Fla., was pleased with the turnout.
“I felt like Monaco is big enough and that the Navistar thing is down the road far enough so that something good is going to happen,” Reidenbach said.
Although turnout for the gathering is about 10% less than it was last year, Reidenbach said those attending are in good spirits. “Honestly, the mood here is pretty upbeat,” he said.
And he is equally pleased that the club was able to draw nearly 400 people to Elkhart County.
“We are absolutely delighted with the attendance, given the condition of the RV industry,” said the Eli Lilly Co. retiree. “We feel like it’s a big success.”
Veurinks’ RV Center in Grand Rapids, Mich., is celebrating its 55th year in business this year.
President Tim Veurink, co-owner with his sister, Tammy Kuipers, representing a third generation of ownership, stated in a news release that he is confident that the industry will rebound as it has in the past.
“This industry has always had its ups and downs,” he said. “We had tough go of it in 1974-1975, 1979-1980, 1989-1991, 2000-2001 and now again we face some challenges today. What I have learned is during these times you need to take care of your customer, communicate with your staff, stick to your plan and hang in there until the storm is over because the storm always does end.”
Veurink added that he feels blessed that his family has been in the RV business for 55 years and believes that the RV lifestyle and business will bounce back bigger than ever. Here are nine reasons why he thinks the RV industry is poised for a serious economic turn-around:
- The biggest population group, the Baby Boomers, are sitting on the sidelines ready to jump into the RV lifestyle.
- Baby Boomers will have to, and want to travel, to visit their children and grandchildren who were displaced to other states because of job opportunities.
- Because of the Go RVing campaign, the RV lifestyle is seen in a more positive light than it was 25 years ago.
- Many RV resorts have been upgraded with high-end accommodations for travelers.
- More Americans than ever are wanting to travel domestically and appreciate all that the U.S. has to offer.
- People today want more freedom and flexibility in their leisure time and an RV is a perfect fit. They also want to stay connected through technology when they travel. The modern RV, again, is a great fit for this lifestyle
- More and more Americans own pets. Most RV resorts are pet friendly. Checking into a motel with your two dogs and the cat for an overnight stay isn’t an easy thing to do.
- RVs enhance and compliment other recreational activities that people enjoy. Toy haulers are a perfect example of this phenomenon. People take their motorcycle, ATV, jet ski, surfboard, bicycles and even their hobby equipment with them across the country.
- RV lifestyle is still the most economical way to enjoy a vacation or your retirement. After this last real estate bubble, people may want to have a lower investment and overhead risk and invest in an RV.