May 2015
Volume 39 - Number 10



Industry News

Carefree RV

May 22, 2015 3157
Winnebago, Jellystone Parks, and partner to offer free summer vacation packages
Four Camping Enthusiasts Will Win a Week's Stay at a Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in the New Winnebago Brave

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MILFORD, Ohio, -- As part of the exciting new "Brave the Summer with Yogi Bear!" promotion, families across the U.S. will have four different chances to win a 7-day, 6-night vacation at the Jellystone Park of their choice in a 2015 Winnebago Brave.

The Brave/Tribute Class A motorhome was recently featured as the "RVBusiness 2015 RV of the Year." The 32-foot unit features bold retro styling, a powered StudioLoft bed, and powered patio awning. Winners will receive the exclusive opportunity to stay for a week in the Brave unit at their favorite Jellystone Park, where they can enjoy amenities like swimming pools, mini-golf, arcades, and dozens of family-friendly activities. The Brave will be delivered to the chosen Jellystone Park where the lucky winners can begin their summer vacation.

The promotion, running from May 20 to August 20, is made possible through a partnership between Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, Winnebago Industries and "We wanted to not only create awareness of our brands but promote the camping lifestyle. Camping is an affordable way for families to travel and have fun together," stated Michele Wisher, director of marketing for Jellystone Parks.

"We hope this promotion encourages people to learn more about the camping and RV lifestyle," commented Christine Knapp, partnership & affiliate marketing manager for

In addition to the summer vacation grand prizes, ten weekly giveaways will be awarded to randomly selected registrants. The winners will each receive an array of prizes, including a Jellystone Park beach towel and bag, a Winnebago key chain and tumbler, and an cooler, valued at $70.

"Winnebago is thrilled to partner with Jellystone Parks and for this exciting promotion," said Kelli Harms, marketing and PR manager for Winnebago. "This is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in a Winnebago Brave at a family-friendly Jellystone Parks campground."

A grand prize winner will be randomly drawn on the last Friday of each month during the contest, including June 26, July 31 and two winners on August 31. Winners will have one year to redeem their camping vacation, subject to park availability.

To participate in the "Brave the Summer with Yogi Bear!" promotion, simply visit and fill out the online entry form. Rules apply.

Source Winnebago Industries, Inc.

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May 21, 2015 3155
Workhorse to Re-enter RV Chassis Market

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CINCINNATI, Ohio, -- Workhorse Group Inc. (OTCQB: WKHS) announced plans to re-enter production of RV chassis at the Workhorse Union City, IN plant.

Workhorse has been recognized as a leader in RV Chassis throughout the strong RV marketplace of the mid-2000s. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association estimates RV volume was nearly 33,000 units per year in 2007, dropping to 5,900 units in 2009, and has been on a steady incline, with Class A Motorhome 2014 volume of over 21,800 units per year.

The steady growth back to strong current RV volumes, coupled with industry demand and interest, has resulted in the Workhorse brand re-entering the RV Chassis Market.

"Our RV manufacturing customers have always relied on the dependability and performance of the Workhorse RV chassis," said Stoney Steenekamp, President of AMP Trucks Inc., a subsidiary of Workhorse Group Inc. "Today, we believe the RV market is strong once again. With the growing demand we have recently seen, it just made sense for us to begin entering back into production."

Over the years, the Workhorse brand established itself as a leader in building RV chassis, with dependable product solutions and strong support through a network of more than 400 dealerships and service centers across the country.

Workhorse intends to ramp up production of the Class A Motorhome chassis at the Workhorse Union City, IN plant, which is currently in limited production of the Workhorse E-GEN™ vehicle, an EPA-approved electric truck chassis with onboard generator for the medium-duty truck segment. The E-GEN vehicle allows fleet operators to choose gasoline, electric, propane, or CNG fuel options.

The Workhorse RV Chassis line will be an improved design, offering both 6.0L and powerful 8.8 liter gasoline engines, coupled with an Allison transmission. The 8.8L engine is designed to match diesel towing ability and mileage.

"It gives us great delight to once again take our place in the RV Chassis market," continued Steenekamp. "We believe the demand is there, we will be building an improved RV chassis line, and we fully expect our Workhorse W-16 and W-22 Class A Motorhome chassis to quickly be recognized as leaders in the category."

About Workhorse Group Inc.

Previously a division of Navistar, the Workhorse brand along with the Workhorse Union City, IN assembly plant, and network of over 400 dealerships was sold to Workhorse Group Inc. (OTQBB: WKHS) in 2013.

Workhorse Group Inc. manufactures electric drive systems for medium-duty, class 3-6 commercial truck platforms, and can equip its Workhorse chassis with electric, gasoline, propane, or CNG engines. The company is re-entering the RV Chassis market, and will also be building Class A Motorhome chassis at the Workhorse Union City, IN plant. For additional information visit

Source Workhorse Group Inc.

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May 12, 2015 3145
General RV Center Heralds New Development at Historic Site

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WIXOM, Mich.—When General RV Center has its ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday at 10 a.m., in Wixom, a new era will begin at a site already infused with history.

One of Ford Motor Company’s largest and oldest manufacturing sites, the former Ford Wixom Assembly Plant opened in 1957 and produced nearly 7 million vehicles on 15 miles of assembly line before halting production in 2007. Vehicles included the celebrated Lincoln Continental, Ford Thunderbird and Ford GT.

The plant and surrounding land lay dormant until late 2012. The next year, General RV Center broke ground on its new corporate headquarters and largest retail facility.

General RV Center was no stranger to the area. In the mid-1990s, after outgrowing the original site of General Trailers in Southfield and opening multiple stores throughout Michigan, General RV Center opened its original corporate headquarters in Wixom—about a mile from the facility being dedicated Wednesday.

“The City of Wixom has always been a great place to do business, going all the way back to 1957 when Ford opened its Assembly Plant. The Ford Assembly Plant was a true landmark and was one of the largest, most efficient and technologically advanced plants in the world,” said Loren Baidas, president of General RV Center. “We’re proud to take part in repurposing the Assembly Park site and in continuing the strong legacy that’s been established at this iconic site.”

On a 34-acre parcel of the former 4.7 million square foot Ford Wixom Assembly Plant, the national headquarters for the nation’s largest family-owned RV business is ushering in new business development and employment for the area.

“Our 98,000 square foot headquarters is the most up-to-date RV facility in the U.S. and will serve RVers from across the country,” said Rob Baidas, Chairman of General RV Center. The corporate center has more than 500 RVs on site, 40 service bays, a massive parts store and employs more than 200 people.

With its expanded location in Wixom, the privately held company owns and operates 11 RV dealerships and employs more than 1,000 people nationally.

Source General RV Center

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May 08, 2015 3142
Winnebago Partners with Casey's General Stores for Summer Promotion

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Commercials detailing the promotion will launch May 1 and will feature an iconic Winnebago Brave motorhome.

FOREST CITY, Iowa, -- Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE:WGO) has partnered with Casey's General Stores for the "No Coast Vacation Road Trip."

Customers can enter to win a Winnebago road trip by discovering "No Coast" clues placed at Casey's General Store locations across the Midwest.

"We are excited to participate with Casey's with this promotion," said Winnebago's Director of Marketing Chad Reece. "Casey's is a premier quality brand and the 'No Coast Vacation Road Trip" is a great fit with the fun and adventure that is core to the essence of Winnebago and our products."

"Casey's is extremely proud to be able to partner with such an iconic company as Winnebago," said Michael Richardson, Vice President of Marketing, Casey's General Stores. "The joint promotion with our companies not only gives us each a chance to showcase our goods and services, but through our radio and television ads it also draws attention to all the fun and exciting places that can be enjoyed right here in the Heart of America."

Besides the opportunity to win a rental of a Winnebago Brave, other prizes include free gas and camping gear.

Commercials detailing the promotion will launch May 1 and will feature an iconic Winnebago Brave motorhome. The all new Brave features eye-catching, colorful exteriors with interior appointments that combine modernism and a retro feel into a very comfortable and user-friendly RV. For more information on the Brave, please visit

Source Winnebago Industries, Inc.

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May 05, 2015 3140
Cavco Industries Announces Acquisition of Fairmont Homes

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PHOENIX -- Cavco Industries Inc. (NASDAQ: CVCO) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, FH Group, LLC, has acquired the business and certain assets of Fairmont Homes, Inc. ("Fairmont"). Fairmont, headquartered in Nappanee, Ind., is a premier builder of manufactured and modular homes and park model RVs. Fairmont has manufacturing plants in Indiana and Minnesota.

"We are pleased to have the Fairmont business and employees join the Cavco group of companies," said Cavco President Joe Stegmayer. "We believe that Fairmont's strong production capabilities, reputation for product quality and service and its excellent customer base fit well with Cavco's philosophy and approach to doing business. This acquisition brings a very experienced team of people and enables Cavco to more fully serve a number of our existing customers as well as add new geographic markets in which Fairmont is well established including the Midwest, the western Great Plains states, the Northeast and several provinces in Canada."

The purchase price, which was paid in cash at closing, was not disclosed. This acquisition was funded with Cavco's internal capital. Certain liabilities were also assumed including homeowner warranty programs. The Company remains well positioned to take advantage of other investment opportunities in the future.

Jim Shea, chief executive officer of Fairmont, commented, "The opportunity for Fairmont to join with Cavco is a truly exciting development for our dedicated associates and great customers. After an extended period of discussions, we recognized that Cavco shares a business philosophy similar to our own. It is an organization that will provide our customers and employees much opportunity for continued growth and success. I offer my full support to ensure a smooth transition and a great future for Fairmont."

Fairmont homes and park model RVs will continue to be marketed under the Fairmont, Friendship, Harmony and Century brand names. Brian Cira, president of Fairmont Homes and a 28 year veteran of the company, will remain in the same role with responsibility for all operations of the Fairmont business.

Source Cavco Industries Inc.

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May 01, 2015 3139
Thor Announces Acquisition Of Postle Aluminum Co.

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ELKHART, Ind., -- Thor Industries, Inc. (NYSE:THO) announced it has acquired Elkhart, Indiana-based Postle Operating, LLC, d/b/a Postle Aluminum Co., ("Postle"), effective, May 1, 2015. The total purchase price, paid in cash, is approximately $144 million, subject to post-closing adjustments.

"We are pleased to welcome Postle to the Thor family. As a key supplier to our industry, Postle has built a longstanding reputation for quality and service in aluminum extrusions and specialized components that set the standard for the industry," said Bob Martin, Thor President and Chief Executive Officer. "We expect that Postle will continue to operate independently like our other subsidiaries, which is made possible because of our decentralized structure. This structure will enable Postle to continue serving their valued recreational vehicle and other customers with quality extrusions as they have done so well for the past 40 years."

Founded in 1974, Postle has been producing extruded aluminum and specialized components for the recreational vehicle (RV) and other industries, with a commitment to each customer in providing the highest quality products and exceptional service. Postle's offerings include a broad range of aluminum extrusions, powder coating and painting services, as well as specialized component fabrication. Postle generated sales of approximately $220 million in calendar year 2014 from four divisions located in northern Indiana and southwestern lower Michigan. The newly acquired business will be operated as a single, separate subsidiary of Thor Industries, Inc. and the existing management team and employees will remain with the business.

"We are pleased to be acquired by Thor, a company that shares our vision for excellence," said Kevin Robinson, Postle President and CEO. "As a Thor subsidiary, we will have the autonomy to continue operating our business and serving our broad customer base as we have in the past, but we will also have a strong financial partner to support our long-term growth objectives. As a result, we expect to strengthen our relationships within the RV and other industries we serve by continuing to provide the high-quality extruded aluminum products, with just in time delivery, that our customers have come to expect."

Source Thor Industries, Inc.

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April 22, 2015 3134
Grand Design RV Produces 10,000th Unit

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MIDDLEBURY, Ind., -- Grand Design Recreational Vehicle Company announced today the production of their 10,000th recreational vehicle.

In just over 2 years since the first unit ran down the production line, Grand Design has now produced over 10,000 fifth wheels and travel trailers. Don Clark, President and CEO of Grand Design RV said, “It is humbling to be able to hit this milestone so early in our company’s history. We credit this accomplishment to our incredible work force, our industry leading product designs, unique dealer friendly business platform and our dealer partners that are comprised of the finest dealers in the business.”

Grand Design markets the Reflection, Solitude and Momentum Fifth Wheel brands and has recently introduced a new Reflection travel trailer. Along with the increasing production rates, retail momentum has followed suit. Clark added, “We are extremely pleased with the retail consumer’s response that has catapulted Grand Design to the 4th largest Fifth Wheel manufacturer in the RV industry, according to Statistical Surveys most recent report. Congratulations and thank you to all Grand Design team members and dealers on this accomplishment.”

Source Grand Design Recreational Vehicle Company

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April 20, 2015 3131
Tour One of America's Most Iconic Brands - Winnebago

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FOREST CITY, Iowa, -- More than 10,000 visitors come to Forest City, Iowa, each year to get the inside story of one of America's most iconic brands - Winnebago®. Come see for yourself why Winnebago is the best-selling brand and most recognized name in RV'ing with a free factory tour.

Founded in 1958, "Winnebago" became a household word when the Company became the first recreation vehicle manufacturer to build motorhomes in an automotive-style assembly line system. Winnebago builds its Winnebago, Itasca®, and Winnebago Touring Coach™ motorhome brands in one of the most technologically advanced RV manufacturing facilities in existence today.

"If you haven't participated in our facilities tour - you are missing out," said Winnebago Director of Marketing Chad Reece. "The tour not only shows you how our motorhomes are built from start to finish, but also highlights the technology and innovative designs that set our motorhomes apart from the rest."

The tour starts at the Winnebago Visitors' Center with a 20-minute video that offers a preview of the manufacturing process. After the video, the tour bus, manufactured by Winnebago Industries, departs for a drive-through tour of the grounds. Tour goers are also able to do walk-in tours of three buildings: the Chassis Weld facility, where the raw chassis is prepared to become a home on wheels with the front cab and basement storage added; the Stitchcraft facility that builds quality chairs, window valances, sofas and other innovative furniture pieces that are only found in our motorhomes; and our main production area named Big Bertha.

Equivalent in size to eight football fields, Big Bertha features three production lines. Visitors will see the magnitude of this building thanks to mezzanines that provide a bird's eye view.

Before or after the tour, visitors can also visit the Winnebago Museum which is located in the upper level of the Visitors' Center. The museum chronicles the Company's 57-year history, as well as the design and construction of the Company's motorhomes.

During the spring and summer months, the Visitors' Center also features some of the latest models of the Company's Winnebago, Itasca, and Winnebago Touring Coach motorhomes, as well as Winnebago Towables, right off the assembly lines. Visitors can also see one of the first motorhomes built by Winnebago Industries, the classic 1967 Winnebago D22, as well as a 1959 trailer. The Visitors' Center is also home to WIT Club, the company's product owners club and Winnebago Outdoor Store, which offers a variety of Winnebago branded apparel, gifts, and gear.

Tours of Winnebago are free, and all ages are welcome. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The Visitors' Center is accessible to those with disabilities; however the factory tour does include three staircases.

Tours, which last approximately two hours, are offered twice daily at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday from April through October, and at 1 p.m. in November. If your group is larger than six, reservations are recommended.

For more information, please call 641/585-6936, visit: or email

Source Winnebago Industries, Inc.

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April 20, 2015 3129
Newmar to Partner with Tents for Troops Organization

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NAPPANEE, Ind. – Newmar Corporation is happy to announce a new partnership that will allow Newmar to show its appreciation for the brave men and women enlisted in the nation’s armed forces.

Newmar President Matt Miller said, "For every coach we retail in 2015, Newmar will make a contribution to Tents for Troops, an organization that works with campgrounds and RV parks throughout the United States and Canada to provide free accommodations to active military members.

Tents for Troops was founded about five years ago. They are a network of RV parks located across 47 States, each committed to providing free RV and tent camping sites for active military members and their families. Although they go by the name Tents for Troops, the majority of those who use the program are young military families traveling by RV. In fact, around 80% of these families have one or two children. At this time T4T has just under 300 Parks in their network, and will soon be adding 14 parks in Canada.

“Tents for Troops invites RV Manufactures, RV Dealers and Industry Suppliers of all sizes to join the program, any contribution large or small will truly make a difference,” said Charlie Curry, founder of Tents for Troops. “RV dealers can donate for new units sold or both new and used and would have the opportunity to ask retail customers if they wanted to donate $1 when they purchase an RV as well. Both OEM's and RV dealers can encourage each other to participate, and OEM's and dealers can encourage Suppliers to do the same.”

The program is 100% voluntary and 100% free. Troops never pay to stay at parks, and the designated parks never pay any fees or dues to be involved with Tents for Troops. It is a feel-good, pay-it-forward type of program. T4T asks parks to offer two free tent or RV sites for a two night stay.

“We’re honored to partner with Tents for Troops in their effort to help our military personnel enjoy the RV lifestyle,” said Matt Miller, President of Newmar. “We appreciate all that the Armed Forces do for this country, without them we would not enjoy the freedom that we all take for granted. Many thanks to Charlie Curry for his efforts, so that the military personnel can enjoy the same lifestyle that we all enjoy.”

To learn more about Tents for Troops or to find out how you can get involved, please visit, send an email to or call 360-274-7915.

Source Newmar Corporation

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April 07, 2015 3121
Blue Ox's Ox Smart Technical Training Now Eligible for RVDA/RVIA Recertification for RV Technicians

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RV Technician Receives hands-on training at recently completed Ox Smart Training Seminar

PENDER, Nebr., -- Blue Ox's Ox Smart training program has earned the RVDA/RVIA recertification status.

Blue Ox President and CEO Ellen Kietzmann said, "What this means is that technicians that complete the Ox Smart Training Program can receive credit towards recertification as a Master Certified RV Technician or Certified RV Technician."

Established in 1993 by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA),the goal of the certification program is to identify professionals who have demonstrated the knowledge and ability to satisfy established, respected standards on RV diagnostic and repair procedures. Technicians must pass a rigorous testing process designed to measure technical competency and recognize those who meet or exceed industry standards.

Each spring, Blue Ox brings in a class of approximately 30 RV technicians from across the continent to participate in an extensive two-day training program on Blue Ox's line of RV related products.

The first day is comprised of a field trip to Pender, Nebraska, for factory tours where technicians saw Blue Ox products being manufactured; and experienced hands-on gooseneck installations; SwayPro installations and test drives.

The second day's session is held at the Century Link Center in Omaha where technicians were trained in the installation of towed vehicle baseplates and braking systems. Technicians are also asked to install Trucenter steering controls; sway bars; and Trac Bars on Class A and Class C motorhomes.

Baseplate and chassis component installation is followed by a full seminar covering frequently asked customer questions regarding Blue Ox tow bars and recreational/commercial towing.

Kietzmann said, "This training is designed with the technician in mind so they can install Blue Ox products more quickly, service Blue Ox products more efficiently and recommend Blue Ox products more confidently."

Upon graduation, those that successfully completed the program will receive a certificate that they can submit to RVDA/RVIA for credit when applying for recertification.

Source Blue Ox

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