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Kingsley Espouses Benefits of Brawn

Building luxury heavy truck conversions for the RV market wasn’t on Ralph Dickenson’s mind when an electrical engineering firm he founded, Brake Alert Inc., was hired to go to Houston, Texas, to redesign the electrical system of a fleet of trucks being purchased by the U.S. military. “While we were there, we got the idea to build a coach on a heavy-duty truck frame for ourselves,” said Dickenson, president of publicly owned Kingsley Coach Inc., Middleburg, Pa. “We removed the front clip... Read more

Blue Bird Migrates to More Competitive Market

As it starts its fifth decade, Blue Bird Body Co.’s Wanderlodge Division, a manufacturer of stylistically unique high-line, diesel-pusher, bus-style motorhomes, is in the midst of a transition from custom-made coaches to more competitively priced production models retailing for as much as $400,000 less than a traditional Wanderlodge. “Our luxury high-end L series platform is evolving into the high-end M series,” said Bryan Hays, director of sales and marketing for Fort Valley, Ga.-based Wanderlodge.... Read more

CrossRoads RV Branches Out, Boosts Production

Nearing completion of a revamp of its travel trailer and fifth-wheel product lines, D.S. Corp. Inc., dba CrossRoads RV, Topeka, Ind., tripled the size of its manufacturing facilities with the opening in May of a new 50,000-square-foot factory. The new plant on 20 acres across the street from CrossRoads’ original leased plant is manufacturing the new Silverado fifth-wheel series and the redesigned Paradise Pointe travel-trailer and fifth wheel line. In addition to establishing Paradise Pointe at... Read more

Trailer Maker Potomac RV Focuses on the Long Haul

The Executives of Potomac RV LLC of Elkhart, Ind., feel the fledgling company already has established a firm enough base to expand from conventional trailers into fifth-wheels. At the same time, Potomac, founded in October as an upper entry-level travel-trailer manufacturer by a core of former Holiday Rambler employees, also plans to open a second plant by this fall to increase capacity and begin manufacturing some of its own components. “We are really looking at Potomac being involved in a marathon,... Read more

WRV Goes Deeper Into Diesel Pusher Sector

Luxury diesel-pusher manufacturer Western Recreational Vehicles Inc. (WRV), Yakima, Wash., founded in the early 1970s as a fifth-wheel manufacturer, will delve deeper into motorized this summer. President Ron Doyle said WRV will introduce an all-new, lower-priced coach – yet to be named – at the FMCA’s 70th International Convention, July 18-20 in Buffalo, N.Y. It will retail in the $200,000 range, compared to base retail prices on the Alpine Coach ranging from $225,000 to $270,000. Doyle, an... Read more

KZ Inc. Has Proven Track Record of Satisfaction

Among American RV dealers, towable manufacturer KZ Inc., Shipshewana, Ind., is recognized as being one of the best in quality; having been a recipient of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) “Quality Circle Award” for three years running. That’s a distinction that few companies, including KZ, take lightly. “If we are being characterized as excellent by our dealers, it means that we are doing a good job listening to them and their customers,” said KZ Sales Manager Carl Dirrman,... Read more

Aliner: A-Frame Innovator Keeps its Trailers Simple

Keeping life uncomplicated isn’t necessarily easy. But that’s what the staff at Aliner Inc., manufacturer of Aliner hard-sided folding camping trailers, and sister company Cabin A LLC, focus on – for both themselves and their customers. “It’s real easy to complicate things,” said Mark A. Tait, president of the two companies that operate as subsidies of Columbia Northwest Inc. “We try to keep things uncomplicated.” Although building relatively simple “A-frame” camping trailers,... Read more

Space Craft Carves Out Specialty Trailer Niche

Tapping into unconventional RV markets isn’t unusual for Space Craft Manufacturing Inc., a custom manufacturer in Concordia, Mo., which lays claim to having patented the first automatic slideout room in 1984. “We designed it as the request of a customer,” said Space Craft President Marsha Trautman. “He wanted a three-bedroom trailer. He was in the carnival industry and he felt there was a need for them. He was exactly right.” Trautman’s 41-year-old company, which annually builds 15 to... Read more

Starcraft: Much More Than Just a Foldout Maker

The success of Starcraft RV Inc. in the folding camping trailer market has been a double-edged sword. “When Starcraft comes to mind to a lot of the world they think ‘camping trailers,’ ” said Donald J. Walter, president and CEO of the Jayco Inc. subsidiary headquartered in Topeka, Ind. “The challenge and exciting reality with this company is we are more than camping trailers. Our mission is to expand beyond the world of camping trailers, aggressively. We want to attack the market.” This... Read more

Hi-Lo: High Towability Combines With Low Profile

Appearing in some ways similar to popup camping trailers, Hi-Lo Trailer Co.’s Classic and Towlite telescoping hard-sided travel trailers are much more than that. “Hi-Lo trailers appeal to people on many different levels,” said Larry Mills, vice president of sales and marketing for the Belleville, Ohio company. “If you asked 100 people why they buy Hi-Los, you’d get 50 answers. No. 1 is that it tows safely because of the low profile. And there is the fuel savings economy, and the Hi-Lo has... Read more

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