Top

Tiffin Taps New Class A Markets

Having debuted the diesel entry-level Phaeton motorhome in August, Tiffin Motor Homes Inc., Red Bay, Ala., has expanded the line with the debut of a 40-foot triple-slide model. It was unveiled at RVIA's 39th annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky. Introduction of the Phaeton, which retails for $135,000 to $170,000, capped a busy several years for Tiffin Motor Homes, known primarily for its Allegro brands — Allegro and Allegro Bay gasoline and Allegro Bus diesel motorhomes. "We... Read more

Auto-Mate Recreational Products

November 1, 2001 by · 2 Comments 

Bill Wyrick, president of Auto-Mate Recreational Products Inc., made a decision in 1991 to try to avoid the pitfalls of the RV industry's ups and downs by selling AutoMate fifth-wheel and travel trailers factory-direct. "I wanted to avoid the roller coaster of this industry," said Wyrick, who founded the Los Banos, Calif., company in 1970. With the move, production decreased from more than 50 units a month to fewer than a dozen. That was OK. "As a low-volume, factory-direct... Read more

TrailManor Inc.

As a hobbyist, TrailManor Inc. founder William Hulsey, a metallurgical engineer for a military contractor, built his first hard-sided popup trailer in the early 1970s in his Tennessee back yard. It was a one-of-a-kind design unlike anything on the market then — or now. "It had springs and pulleys and it looked like a machine," recalled William Hulsey's son, TrailManor Vice President Keith Hulsey. "It was ugly." Plans to license production to an existing RV manufacture... Read more

Crossroads

Contemplating the purchase of an RV manufacturer in the midst of last year's declining market might give some people pause for thought. "That is usually the best time to get into something as you are approaching the bottom of the market," said Steve Snyder, president of D.S. Corp. Inc., Topeka, Ind., manufacturer of All American, Paradise Pointe and Paradise Cove fifth-wheels and travel trailers (pictured). "The tight market is telling us what products that we need to focus on... Read more

Home & Park Motorhomes

Canadian manufacturer Home & Park Motorhomes will begin offering in August its 20-foot Roadtrek 190 Popular Class B motorhome on a Chevrolet platform, pending DaimlerChrysler's decision to remove the Dodge Ram van from the market at the end of the 2003 model year. "We will be targeting the same primary market, but the Chevy van will appeal to the younger market because it looks more automotive," said Home & Park Chairman Jeff Hanemaayer. "And in the interior, we are... Read more

Dodgen's Class C Doctrine

John Dodgen, 75, president and CEO of Born Free Motorcoach Inc., tried to retire in 1991. "I went to Florida for the winter," Dodgen said. "They asked me to cover the Tampa Supershow and I ended up selling five units. I went to another show a week later and sold three more. That ended my retirement. It lasted two and a half months. They said I couldn't leave." Being unable to walk away wasn't unusual for Dodgen. He founded Dodgen Industries in 1947 to build automated... Read more

Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd.

Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd., which has been selling Class B motorhomes under the Lexor and Excel brands since 1986, expanded in May to reach a younger audience with the introduction of the entry-level 17-foot Traverse by Pleasure-Way. "It is directed at young families who are going out to buy a mini-van," said Pleasure-Way Vice President Dean Rumpel. "For about the same price, they can buy an RV. We have been watching the market. There has been a void for this type of vehicle.... Read more

SunLine Coach

Dale Zimmerman, who became president of SunLine Coach Co. Inc. in November, literally grew up on the shop floor. "I cut my teeth and learned how to walk in an RV plant," Zimmerman said. "I remember very vividly walking across the plant floor as a toddler." That was even before his father, John Zimmerman, partnered in 1975 with SunLine founder Lewis Martin and business acquaintance Wayne L. Lawrence Sr. (now retired, father of current CEO W. Larry Lawrence Jr.) to relaunch SunLine,... Read more

S & S Campers

Building truck campers in a small Rocky Mountain valley town in Montana is not without its challenges. "You need to do whatever you have to do," said Doug Sieler, vice president of S & S Canopies and Campers Mfg. Co., a maker of truck campers in Kalispell, Montana. That might mean building a forklift from the remains of an old school bus to move frames and finished campers around the yard. Or, it might mean trekking to the nearby Plum Creek Mill to select plywood by hand. Or, it might... Read more

Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc.

Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc., founded on the premise that a line of RVs with a limited number of floorplans and options would do well in the marketplace, has returned to its roots with the new Dutchmen Sport and Four Winds Express brands of travel and fifth-wheel trailers. "Dutchmen took the market by storm way back by offering a trailer with a minimum number of floorplans at a value price," said Steve Paul, Dutchmen's vice president of sales and marketing, a former Fleetwood executive.... Read more

Next Page »

Bottom