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CanaDream Reports Drop in Income, Sales

Canadian recreational vehicle rental firm CanaDream Corp. today (Dec. 10) announced a decline in revenues and earnings for the company’s fiscal second quarter and six months ended Oct. 31. Revenues for the six months were $10.8 million (Canadian), down 9.4% from the previous year. Net earnings for the period were $2.1 million, representing a 17.9% decrease from last year. For the quarter, revenues dropped 10.4% to $5.3 million and net earnings were down by 8.1% to $1.1 million. Officials for Calgary,... Read more

Highline Firm Marathon Coach Goes the Distance

A story in the Eugene (Ore.) Register Guard noted recently that RV manufacturing is on the verge of becoming the No. 1 employer in Lane County, Ore., where the timber industry once reigned as king. Privately owned Marathon Coach Inc., Coburg, Ore., a converter of luxury Prevost buses that retail for upward of $2 million, is among the RV manufacturers responsible for establishing Oregon as the third largest RV producer behind Indiana and California. Converting Prevost H3-45 and XLII diesel-pusher... Read more

Phoenix USA Focuses on B+ Motorhomes, Carves Solid Market Niche

Being associated with camper vans for most of his lengthy career in the RV industry, Kermit Fisher, president of Phoenix USA Inc., Bristol, Ind., in the late 1990s recognized the trend toward “B+-style” RVs – rather small and affordable Class C coaches providing the handling and feel of classic van campers but with the living amenities of minimotorhomes. Founded in 1996, Phoenix USA of Bristol, Ind., produced the Phoenix van camper during its first four years. That changed in 2000 when Phoenix... Read more

Thor California Taps Hot Western U.S. Market

A small group of RV executives who approached Thor Industries Inc. Chairman Wade Thompson in the mid-1990s – Thor California Inc.’s current president, Tom Powell, among them – had a vision for the establishment of a West Coast startup company that would be a strong competitor in the U.S. towable RV market. At the time, Thompson, a New York entrepreneur, was in the midst of an acquisition spree that turned Thor Industries into the largest towable manufacturer in the country. All of those RV... Read more

Hy-Line Benefits From Nimble Size, Flexibility

As a small company competing with larger park-trailer and towable manufacturers, Hy-Line Enterprises Inc., of Elkhart, Ind., has to be nimble, according to President Peggy Flager. “As bigger manufacturers take a bigger part of the market, the smaller manufacturers have to remain flexible,” Flager said. “That’s what keeps us competitive. Increasingly, it has become more of a challenge, but we are up to it.” Founded in 1986, Hy-Line today manufactures two recreational park-trailer brands... Read more

King of the Road Expands in the Highline Realm

The last several years have brought substantial changes to fifth-wheel manufacturer King of the Road, a York, Neb.-based company long known for its high-end products. In October 2000, to expand its manufacturing capacity and also be closer to its diversified parent company, Chief Industries Inc., King of the Road packed up and moved from Russell, Kan., where it was founded, to York, 220 miles to the north. Chief Industries, founded in 1954 as a residential construction company and based in Grand... Read more

Jayco Taps Rich Traditions to Develop, Market Product Line

For 36 years, Jayco Inc. of Middlebury, Ind., has manufactured recreation vehicles with two rather traditional goals in mind – build in quality and provide service to both dealers and consumers that goes beyond their expectations. “We feel that is what sets us apart from the crowd,” said Derald Bontrager, president and COO. Jayco was founded in 1968 during the seminal years of the recreational vehicle business by Bontrager’s father, Lloyd J. Bontrager, who previously had worked with Starcraft... Read more

Provan Moves South to Greener Market Pastures

Hauling a recreational vehicle cross county can be a challenge. Taking an entire RV company from Denver to South Carolina goes substantially beyond that. David Rowe, owner of 18-year-old Provan Industries, which manufactures Tiger Class B and Class C chassis-mounted motorhomes, said the move last year from the Rocky Mountains region to the Deep South was necessary to find new customers for his products. “We relocated because we wanted to get into a fresh market,” said Rowe, whose company began... Read more

Horizons Meets Custom, Full-Time Trailer Needs

After an eight-year stint as president of First Bank of Manhattan (Kan.) and a decade as executive vice president and CFO of steel-distributor Joined Steel Pipe and Supply, Phil Brokenicky set out to own his own company. When a friend told Brokenicky that Horizons Inc., a small Kansas factory-direct towable RV manufacturer was for sale, he was curious. “One trip through the plant told me that I was looking at a diamond in the rough,” said Brokenicky, 54, who bought Horizons from founder Harold... Read more

Chinook RV: A Seamless C-Body Manufacturer

Dan Lukehart, president of Trail Wagons Inc., dba Chinook RV, tells a story about a customer who left a paper cup full of coffee on the rear bumper of his new Chinook Concourse Class C motorhome and drove off. When he got home, Lukehart relates, the cup was still sitting on the bumper with coffee in it. That story speaks volumes for the manufacturers of Chinook one-piece molded fiberglass minimotorhomes. “We don’t have any other priorities other than making the most sound motorhome possible,”... Read more

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