Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) announced that Forest River Inc.’s new Work and Play Catalyst fifth-wheel toy hauler is the first model to feature the supplier’s touch-screen, Android-based Linc Pad wireless tablet to control several key functions.
According to a press release, Linc Pad technology allows Catalyst owners to control all three sliderooms, LCI’s six-point Level Up system, awning, awning lights, generator, tank monitor and, as an option, LCI’s Happijac bed lift.
RVers can control functions from within 50 feet of the fifth-wheel and monitor the progress of external functions from outside the RV. The Linc Pad can also be used to download Android-compatible applications, access the Internet, take photo and play games.
“We wanted our customers to have access to the most cutting-edge technology, and LCI’s Linc Pad and Linc wiring technology does it all,” said Kevin Finn, Forest River Work and Play general manager. “Customers can even upload their favorite music to the Linc Pad and listen to it using our integrated Bluetooth radio.”
Finn also emphasized the benefits of Linc technology for the manufacturing process. “Linc technology saves us money and time during manufacturing because it drastically reduces complicated wiring as it is wired to the master controller with a single data cable,” said Finn. “This saves us money on material, saves us time and promotes quality — less wiring means less opportunity for wires to mistakenly get disconnected or damaged during production.”
LCI Vice President of RV Sales Andy Murray believes customers are getting more comfortable with newer technology.
“Forest River is the first to make our Linc Pad standard on a fifth-wheel brand,” said Murray. “We have all seen electronic controls become the norm in the automotive industry in recent years, and it seems the RV industry is ready to start the same evolution. We are excited to offer a wireless platform that not only integrates all the critical RV functions, but also makes the manufacturing process easier for our customers.”
Forest River Inc.’s Work and Play brand has been recognized by Statistical Surveys Inc. as the No. 1 retail-selling toy hauler travel trailer in North America for the fourth consecutive year.
“Work and Play offers a unique product that provides our dealers with a competitive advantage because of the broad breadth of product uses and prospective owners,” said Kevin Finn, general manager of the Work and Play division. “Our growth reflects the product development successes we have had to date. The focus and drive we have put on understanding our customers wants and needs have been the catalyst to our success. Work and Play isn’t just another toy hauler, it’s a specialty vehicle that provides a wide array of product usages including up to the capacity of hauling a vehicle.”
He added, “Our dealers really understand the broad usage that Work and Play offers and have been instrumental to our success. We appreciate their hard work over the past four years in helping Work and Play maintain the top spot for the SUT travel trailer segment.”
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Tom Johnson Camping Center’s already extensive inventory list has just gotten bigger with the addition of Work and Play sport utility RV from Forest River Inc.
Work and Play SURVs, which are available as travel trailers and fifth-wheels, are known for their sturdy build, ample cargo space, comfortable living quarters and flexible floor plans, the dealer stated in a news release. Some additional features available on Work and Play models include one-piece aluminum roofs and full steel 4 1/4-inch C-Channel roof trusses for strength and durability, vinyl interior cargo walls for ease in cleaning, a rear cargo RV door with screen for enjoyment of the outdoors and insulated ceilings for increased efficiency.
“We are excited to offer Work and Play toy haulers to our customers at Tom Johnson Camping Center,” said Gary Stroud, vice president of Tom Johnson Camping Center. “Our No. 1 goal at TJCC is customer satisfaction and part of that is offering the very best products to our customers, and we place a high level of value on the Work and Play line from Forest River.”
For more information visit www.TomJohnsonCamping.com.
Some 800,000 people are expected to attend the 70th edition of the weeklong annual Sturgis Bike Rally in Sturgis, S.D., a high profile national event that kicked off Monday (Aug. 9). And Forest River Inc. representatives are in the thick of it — showcasing some of the Elkhart, Ind.-based towable and motorized RVs.
”We have been so busy with customers (in Sturgis) that it was a chore to even get the display set up,” said Curt Smith, general manager of Forest River’s Work and Plan toy hauler division.
Smith set up shop on Sturgis’ downtown Main Street along with representatives from Forest River’s Puma and Cherokee towable and Coachmen motorized divisions. ”We are right in the heart of it all,” Smith said.
The crowd of motorcyclists totally overwhelms the city of Sturgis, which, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, has a total of 5,950 year-round residents and is expected to almost equal South Dakota’s total population of just over 813,000.
”It’s like doubling the population of the state for a week,” said Smith.
Before Bike Week even started, Smith told RVBUSINESS.com, Forest River representatives had sold a dozen units in the days leading up to the event. ”The checks are in the pocket and there are seven or eight pending,” he said. Last year, Forest River sold 38 units during Bike Week.
The rally began in 1938 as an event sponsored by the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club as a venue for racing and stunts and has continued ever since with a two-year interruption during World War II.
Bike Week has continued to grow, and this year more than 200,000 people showed up even before the event started.
Top line entertainment this year is being provided by Bob Dylan, Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue and ZZ Top, while as many as 700 vendors have set up shop in the Black Hills community.
The entertainment lineup ”is the biggest and best so far,” Rod Woodruff, owner of Buffalo Chip Campground, which has hosted concerts for 29 years, told the Associated Press.
”Anybody who has anything at all to do with motorcycles thinks this is the place,” said Christine Paige Dires, executive director of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame.
Sturgis aside, Smith says that Work and Play sales ”are very much up from last year.”
”Everybody is very pleased with what’s going on for the year, but people are still very cautious,” he said, adding that Work and Play’s most serious problem right now is finding qualified employees to build RVs. ”That’s the part that’s weird,” he said. ”We are having trouble finding good employees. I think the government has made unemployment too appealing. Right now, people are making darn good money just sitting on their butts.”