Wed Feb 27, 2019
Author: RV News Staff
Niche towable manufacturer Riverside RV is broadening its scope with production of its new Intrepid brand. The family-owned LaGrange, Ind.-based company will put the first-ever unit on the production line today. Known for its Retro line of travel trailers (pictured left, toy haulers and fifth wheels, the Intrepid will be somewhat of a departure for the 10-year-old company.
“We are branching off to get more of a contemporary feel and to appeal to a mass audience,” Riverside RV’s Sales and Product manager Chris Daniels says. “It will be a nice spinoff from our Retro line and should appeal to younger families. The Intrepid will be competitive with other lightweight laminated models in the industry.”
The Intrepid is so new that photos won’t be available until next week when the first unit comes off the production line. Daniels says Intrepid will initially have eight floorplans and will range from 25- to 33-feet long. Three of the units will be bunkhouses and five will be “mom and pop” coaches with additional sleeping areas.
Riverside manufactured about 2,100 units in 2018 and with the addition of the Intrepid, that total will rise 2019, Daniels says. Riverside will have the new Intrepid on display at September’s Open House and Daniels predicts that will spur increased sales for next year.
Riverside currently produces 11 Retro floorplans and Daniels says two more will be added in the next 30 days. He describes it as the most popular “retro” brand in the industry. Retro’s demographic market is across the board with retirees who are full-time RVers and millennials who enjoy pulling into a campground to show off their unit because it’s different, he says.
“A lot of dealers will buy a unit and put it out front to draw attention,” Daniels says, “and what happens is they end up selling a bunch of them. It’s a cool product and we see our space gaining on every lot.”
Riverside has a network of 115 dealers across the U.S. and Canada. Daniels describes the lightweight Retro as being a niche within a niche.
“The Retros are not mass produced and there is not a lot of competition for it,” he says, “but we are starting to see some competitors pop up.”
Riverside didn’t overbuild as some manufacturers did during 2017 and 2018 and Daniels says the company, which employs about 80, hasn’t slowed down at all.
“Riverside has been in business 10 years and we are one of the few small, family-owned manufacturers in the industry,” Daniels says. “It’s great for the industry to have options other than the big boys. We are all fighting for about 10 percent of the market share and we feel good about the position we are in.”