Wireless electronics supplier Winegard bought RV systems developer SilverLeaf Electronics, moving the industry toward what Winegard’s President and Chief Operations Officer Grant Whipple said is a seamless and connected smart RV experience.
Acquisition terms were not announced.
SilverLeaf engineers telemetrics and RV-C networking, which allows a unit’s house and chassis components to communicate. The Albany, Oregon-based company makes instrumentation tools, Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and system monitoring technologies.
“I know from experience that you only get a limited number of opportunities,” SilverLeaf founder and General Manager Martin Perlot said. “If you wait too long, you may or may not be able to do it on your own terms. What was most important to me is that the people here would be valued the way I value them. And with that, the products and ideas that we have generated will continue.”
Although the acquisition finalized Dec. 31, Perlot said the two companies started working together two years ago. A voice-command product concept was in the works, he said. The offering, which is currently being prototyped, was made possible using Winegard’s hardware and wireless capabilities, combined with SilverLeaf’s software and coach connectivity technology.
“SilverLeaf has some of the best minds in the business,” Whipple said. “Many of their products are the industry gold-standard. I am incredibly excited about SilverLeaf’s control and monitoring system, which connects to crucial RV systems such as tank levels, battery management and power controls.
“Pairing this interior experience with a robust network connection provided by Winegard and WiFiRanger hotspots and data plans is exactly what RVers are looking for right now,” he said.
Manufacturers and dealers are seeking ways to track and monitor products, Whipple added. He said cloud technology will allow the companies to provide those desired data analysis solutions.
Winegard is headquartered in a 410,000-square-foot facility in Burlington, Iowa, which houses a testing, validation and measurement center.
“SilverLeaf and Winegard have the ability to build a unique ecosystem,” Perlot said. “We can unite RV internet and satellite connectivity with cutting-edge device and internal system interconnectivity. I see the challenge ahead of us, and I look forward to meeting it.”
Perlot will remain in his general manager role at SilverLeaf, in addition to becoming Winegard’s VP of digital chassis position.
“Essentially, this acquisiton is about talent cultivation in the search for product and service excellence,” Perlot said. “It is also about fostering stronger relationships with our partners across the industry.
“Merging with Winegard was an easy decision for me, and I could not be happier with how it is going,” he added.