Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

September 16, 2013

Massive exhibit of what's new in RV industry set to start

GOSHEN —  The self-styled “Recreational Vehicle Capital of the World” will be putting that name to the test this week as thousands of dealers from across North America converge on Elkhart County for the sixth annual RV Open House.

Originally begun six years ago by RV manufacturer Forest River as a smaller, company-only event, the open house has since expanded to include nearly ever RV company in the area in what has become one of the biggest centralized RV sales events of its kind.

Beginning Tuesday and running through Thursday, the RV Open House is strictly reserved for dealers in most cases and generally not open to the public. Instead, the event focuses primarily on giving dealers their first real look at all the new and improved offerings from manufacturers that may grace their showroom floors in the coming year.

Here is a sample of what the dealers will see from local RV manufacturers and suppliers.


Jayco’s displays will be located at its Middlebury campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

According to John Ganyard, vice president and general manager of the motorhome division, Jayco will have many changes to its model year 2014 products on display as well as new unit introductions. For starters, the Jayco motorhome division will be using the open house to launch its new Melbourne 4-by-4, a new four-wheel drive motorhome available with one floorplan, the 29X, and two exterior paint options.

“We’re excited to bring this Melbourne 4-by-4 to market and introduce it to our dealers first at the open house,” Ganyard said. “It will target a new market previously missed by Jayco motorized products.”

In addition to the new Melbourne, Jayco will also highlight several new changes to its Eagle and White Hawk lines.

Entegra Coach will also have five motorcoaches on display at the Jayco complex. Jayco and Entegra Coach regional sales managers will be on site during the open house hours to talk with dealers.


Starcraft will be displaying more than 30 units at its exhibit space at the northwest corner of C.R. 6 and C.R. 17 across from the RV/MH Hall of Fame from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Starcraft will showcase 34 of its towable products, featuring eight new floorplans covering all brands. One of the highlights will be the new hardside Comet camping trailer series with three floorplans on display. In addition to the new hardside floorplans, the Comet series now boasts tan-colored sides, new graphics and black moldings.

“With our new Comet Hardside series and the other new floorplans on display, we expect a good reaction to this year’s open house,” said Starcraft Director of Sales Brent Froman. “It’s always a great time for us to meet with our dealers and show them we’re not slowing down as we move into the winter months.”

In addition to the Comet Hardside displays, Starcraft will also use the open house as a platform to introduce many new changes to the front profile of its AR-ONE, AR-One WideBody and Autumn Ridge lines. The company will also have on display two new Launch Ultra Lite floorplans, 24RLS and 26BHS, and a new 239TBS Travel Star EXP floorplan.


Fleetwood RV Inc. and its motorhome division American Coach, will display more than 25 new 2014 models, including several new floorplans, at its display located at the corner of C.R. 6 and Frederic Drive in Elkhart from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

During the show, both brands will be displaying models with entirely new interior and exterior decors for the 2014 model year. New floorplans for the Excursion 33D, Southwind 34A and new Providence 42P will be included among the many displays available for attendees to peruse.

“We’re always eager to showcase all our latest products, designs and floor plans,” said Kyle McCrary, senior vice president of product planning and design for Fleetwood RV and American Coach. “What you’ll see at this event is a culmination of our desire to create innovative designs that are well engineered, functional and beautifully designed inside and out.”

Cruiser RV

Howe-based Cruiser RV will be rolling out its new brand image this week at its display under a large tent at the entrance to the RV/MH Hall of Fame at C.R. 6 and C.R. 17.

Cruiser RV has been solely focused on the Lightweight travel trailer market since it was purchased by the Fought family almost 10 years ago.

A new brand titled Genuine Trailers is set to premier to the wholesale market. According to Cruiser RV President Jeff Fought, “We’re not big corporate, and we’re proud of that,” Fought said. “And we think our dealers and prospects will understand.

Lippert Components

Elkhart-based Lippert Components Inc. will be setting up shop this week on the lawn of the supplier’s new corporate office building at 3501 C.R. 6 East, between C.R. 13 and C.R. 15. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

“One key aspect of our business is supporting our OEM customers and our mutual dealers,” said April Klein, LCI vice president of customer support services. “We have made many significant improvements in our service organization over the past year, and it’s important for us to hear our dealers’ feedback on our opportunity for us to interact with dealers in a more personal way.”

Members of Lippert’s management team will be on hand to discuss recent improvements, future initiatives, new products and aftermarket displays available to dealers.


Newmar Corp. will display a sample of its 2014 model year motor home line at its display along C.R. 6 in the parking lot of Ramco Engineering, 52965 Frederic Drive, a mile west of the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

The all-new 2014 Canyon Star will be just one of the many Newmar motor homes highlighted in the display.

Newmar representatives, including many Newmar executives, will be available on-site all three days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Livin’ Lite

Wakarusa-based Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC, recently acquired by Thor Industries Inc., will introduce its all-new, ultralight Camplite fifth-wheel.

The unveiling will take place at 5 p.m. today at the company’s display area on Executive Parkway, the main artery to Thor’s exhibit at the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

“We are very excited to enter the fifth-wheel marketplace, not only with the Camplite midprofile model, but also in our Quicksilver VRV toy hauler line,” said Scott Tuttle, president of Livin’ Lite. “These unique fifth-wheels are sure to be the lightest in their class and will provide the owners the ability to pull them with a half-ton pickup truck.”

Grand Design RV

Middlebury-based Grand Design RV will unveil four new models during this week’s open house at its display in the RV/MH Hall of Fame complex.

“The four new floor plans are exciting additions to the Grand Design’s popular Solitude Extended Stay Fifth Wheel, Momentum Luxury Toy Hauler Fifth Wheel and Reflection Mid-Priced product lines,” said Don Clark, president and co-owner of Grand Design RV. “The new floor plans will include the new ground-breaking Reflection 337RLS.”

Venture RV

Shipshewana-based Venture RV, a manufacturer of lightweight travel trailers, will be displaying its new line, the Sonic ultra-light travel trailer, at its display area just south of the intersection of C.R. 6 and C.R. 15 in Elkhart.

“We will have 13 units in Elkhart, including our newest product innovation, the Sonic,” said Dave Boggs, director of marketing and sales for Venture RV. “The segment we are targeting is the minivan and small SUV market.”

Boggs also pointed to the company’s SportTrek line as a likely head-turner at the show.

“It’s been exciting creating the SportTrek and the Sonic,” Boggs said. “The SportTrek will feature new island kitchen floorplans as well as several new selling features.”

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