RV Business News – Growing Heartland Restructuring Operations

Growing Heartland Restructuring Operations

May 17, 2016 by RV Business


Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC has instituted a series of organizational changes to better manage the company’s growing portfolio of companies while also setting the groundwork for further expansion.

“For the past four-plus years, some of my major goals to better anchor and support the companies that we manage under the Thor Industries Inc. umbrella are in place and it’s time to restructure our team to take full advantage of the opportunities in front of us,” said Chris Hermon, president of Elkhart, Ind.-based Heartland which now has oversight of Cruiser RV, DRV, Breckenridge and Bison operations. “We have successfully leveraged our key management to achieve that goal, but we have reached a point where we need to fine-tune and restructure our operations, particularly with the growth of our company this year and with some of the additional opportunities on the West Coast.”

According to release, changes will include:

Joel Eberlein will serve as senior general manager responsible for overseeing the Big Country, Elk Ridge, Landmark, Road Warrior and Edge brands. Andy Westorp will continue as general manager for Landmark while assuming day-to-day responsibility of managing Road Warrior and Edge. Brent Hamood has been named product manager for Big Country and Elk Ridge.

AJ Jones has been named senior general manager responsible for overseeing the Cyclone, Torque, Gateway and Sundance brands. He will also be responsible for the Sundance lines at Heartland’s Nampa, Idaho, facility. General Manager Paul Craven will continue to handle day-to-day operations of Sundance and Gateway. Chris Hahaj will become product manager for Cyclone and Torque.

Kyle Miller has been named senior general manger responsible for overseeing all Cruiser RV and DRV products.

Jay Mohamed will be general manager of Shadow Cruiser, Fun Finder and Stryker. He will also have responsibilities at the Nampa facility.

Jeff Fought will be general manager over DRV including the Mobile Suites, Elite Suites and Full House brands.

John Jones will be product manager over the MPG, Radiance and Boss lines of Cruiser RV.

“Heartland has seen tremendous growth, and we continue to strive for not only progressive, cutting-edge product design and development, but also for a 24-7 commitment to customer service,” Hermon said. “We have built a reputation for delivering product that stays in step with an increasingly discerning consumer base while also providing value and profitability for our dealer partners. This restructuring ensures that we will continue to deliver that same caliber of service in the future.”

Coley Brady, vice president of sales, noted, “Heartland has always relied on a strong stable of managers, and this realignment reinforces our faith in their abilities. Our sales and product teams have formed an incredible bond and we are excited about what they can achieve in the future both in Elkhart County and in the western states through our Idaho facility.”

Report: NHTSA Latest RV Related Recalls List

Report:  NHTSA Latest RV Related Recalls List

April 25, 2016 by

nhtsa_logoEditor’s Note: The following is a list of recent RV-related recalls compiled by the U.S National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA).



• Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC is recalling 33 2016-2017 Torque travel trailers, models T31 and T32, manufactured Dec. 15, 2015, to March 16, 2016. The affected vehicles are equipped with safety chains on the A-frame that are rated for 11,700 pounds instead of being rated equal to, or greater than, the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the travel trailer. For more information click here.

RV Business News – Production Rolling at Heartland’s Idaho Facility

Production Rolling at Heartland’s Idaho Facility

April 27, 2016

(L-R) Blue Dog Director Parts & Service Tony Schilling; Director of Sales Jason Poole; Heartland General Manager Mike Creech; Blue Dog co-owners John Asplund Asplund and Rebecca Asplund; Coley Brady, Heartland vice president of sales; Steve Khoma, regional sales representative; Blue Dog Operations Manager Marc Hauser (Operations Manager)

(L-R) Blue Dog Director Parts & Service Tony Schilling; Director of Sales Jason Poole; Heartland General Manager Mike Creech; Blue Dog co-owners John Asplund and Rebecca Asplund; Coley Brady, Heartland vice president of sales; Steve Khoma, regional sales representative; Blue Dog Operations Manager Marc Hauser

Production is in full swing at Heartland Recreation Vehicles LLC’s new plant in Nampa, Idaho, as the company marked a milestone last week with its first unit shipped to Blue Dog RV in nearby Post Falls.

“It was a testament to our Nampa team that we were able to roll out production right on schedule,” reported Coley Brady, vice president of sales for the Elkhart, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary, in a press release. “We will continue to up production to fulfill our backlog of West Coast orders that currently runs into late August. It’s a significant step and confirms that the Idaho location truly represents a difference maker for Heartland.”

The 248,000-square-foot facility, situated on 25 acres in Nampa, provides Heartland with a gateway into the lucrative West Coast marketplace, eliminating costly freight charges and opening new relationship-building opportunities with key dealers in the region.

”Our overall partnership with Heartland has been strengthened with the addition of the new Idaho manufacturing facility,” noted John Asplund, co-owner of Blue Dog RV, which operates 10 locations in the Northwest states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Nevada.

Heartland announced plans for construction of the new facility last September, preluding the Elkhart County RV Open House which annually draws thousands of dealers to the industry’s manufacturing hub in northwest Indiana.

“It was opportune timing for Heartland as dealers head to Open House preparing for the coming year in terms of product selection and which manufacturers they want to do business,” said Chris Hermon, president of the Elkhart, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary. “We were able to pick up several new dealers, and continue to add to that network, while also better servicing our existing dealers in the region.”

Initially, the Nampa facility will focus on the lightweight laminated Wilderness line, a “feature-rich trailer with an exceptional price point for the West Coast,” according to Brady, with plans to add a second production line for Cruiser RV and Sundance laminated travel trailer lines in early 2017.

“The Wilderness product line is well-suited for the customers in our markets and we anticipate it will be a high-volume brand for our dealerships,” said Asplund.

The Nampa site represents the latest in a series of expansion moves for Heartland, including the acquisition of Cruiser RV LLC and its sister company DRV LLC along with a major expansion focusing on service, parts and administrative operations at its expansive campus in Elkhart.

“The Nampa expansion is an extension of Heartland’s commitment to providing industry-leading response to the needs of our dealer partners, and our owners,” said Hermon. “It significantly expands our supply chain to the West Coast. The travel trailer business is booming and we want to be on the leading edge of that tremendous growth.”

RV Business News – Heartland’s Bighorn Builds Momentum in 2016

Heartland’s Bighorn Builds Momentum in 2016

April 14, 2016 by RV Business

1 Selling Bighorn Banner

Offering consumers an expanded model lineup enhanced by a host of set-apart luxury features, Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC’s full-profile Bighorn fifth-wheel line is enjoying strong sales and incremental market share gains coming out of the early show season.

According to Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Statistical Surveys Inc., Bighorn market share was up 9.9% in the first month of 2016.

“Bighorn sales performed extremely well in 2015 and the tempo has really picked up after a strong retail show season this year,” said Chris Hermon, president of the Elkhart, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary, in a press release. “Bighorn is arguably one of the most recognized names with retail customers and dealers. We’re proud of what was accomplished at last September’s Open House and we’re seeing the results with very strong retails in the first quarter of 2016.”

Tom Montague, general manager for Bighorn, added, “We are particularly pleased with our new model momentum. We are tuned in to the high-end demographic and are producing product that uniquely meets their needs.”

New floorplans include the triple-slide 3575EL and 3760EL boasting a popular rear living room layout and a front bedroom with a king-size walk-around bed. The newest addition to the lineup, the 3970RD, is a five-slideout unit, including two opposing sofa slides in the rear living/entertainment area.

Montague noted that all Bighorn models are equipped with a lengthy list of standards that target the discerning tastes of today’s luxury fifth-wheel buyer.

“Standard features retail customers want and use on a daily basis have contributed to our fast start in 2016,” he said. “Retail customers are more educated than ever before and are demanding standard features that make RVing more enjoyable. Add a full-time warranty for overall piece of mind and you have a recipe for success.”

While Heartland focuses on progressive product development, the company has also taken aggressive steps on the service side, offering support to dealers and end users on every product and brand that the company offers.

“In addition to great product, Heartland continues to make significant investments in our customers’ overall ownership experience,” Hermon noted. “The state-of-the-art service center located in Elkhart provides campsites, a customer lounge and a dog park with 24-hour access with prior reservations. It’s not just about a particular brand anymore. The manufacturer and the dealership play an important role in overall customer satisfaction and right now Heartland RV is leading the way.”

Product Review – Dehumidifiers

DEHUMIDIFIERS – Product Review & Recommendation

Submitted by: Lisa Brown, Newsletter Editor
We like mushrooms but only on our dinner plates and the only mold we prefer is our blue cheese on our salads.  Other than that, we have no place for them elsewhere; particularly in our RV coach.
Let’s face it, MOISTURE is an RV Coach’s worst enemy.  In such a small amount of time, humidity inside a camper or RV could result in potential health risks as well as create unwanted structural issues.  As noted on a facebook RV group page we frequent, we read about an RV owner who posted a photo of actual mushrooms growing inside their RV merely because of a damp blanket that was left on the floor for less than 72 hours…one weekend.
RV’s and Campers are not airtight.  How could they be?  They are not like Tupperware containers where you can look moisture away.  They are not like sticks and bricks homes that have layers upon layers of insulation and building materials.  There are small access points everywhere in a camper or RV; whether it be a small cracked window seal, air gaps around plumbing pipes, slides with deficient seals, etc.  Every time you open a door or window, you invite moisture inside your RV or simply by leaving windows and doors open on humid days; notoriously known in the deep south and Pacific NW states.  Cooking also presents its own moisture logistics; through steam and just the presence of water even from doing dishes or running water.  And then there’s the bathroom; whether running water to brush your teeth or wash your hands or the steam from the shower.  Even from humans and pets breathing expels water droplets everywhere.   Its all moisture and in such small confines of a camper or RV, it could potentially set the perfect atmosphere to ‘grow things’; creating its own greenhouse effect.
One way to eliminate moisture in your RV is to run your coach’s Air Conditioner.  But if the air temperature doesn’t dictate AC use or your electric bill is just too demanding, then you should look into purchasing small dehumidifiers.
When we think of dehumidifiers though, we think of those big, heavy clunky things we have or had in the basements of our homes.  However, those are way too much and really, overkill for campers and RV’s with less square footage.
Shortly after buying our RV, we learned by others who were years ahead of us, we needed to add one or two small portable dehumidifiers to our Amazon Prime wish list which resulted in an actual purchase.
The two we recommend (because they have proven their worth to us personally) are manufactured by the same company “EVA DRY”.  There are others out there however, since we have not used them, we cannot speak for their success or review.
The EVA-DRY ‘Petite’ 1100 Dehumidifier (Model #EDV1100) Whisper Technology.  It has a 9V 2.5A electric input.  Its virtually silent.  It has an on/off switch with a power indicator light as well as an indicator light to alert when it needs emptying.  We purchased it from Amazon for approximately $45 (S&H was free because we use Amazon Prime).  We use this little guy in the bedroom on one of the CPAP shelves and is more than substantial for the bedroom square footage.  Its perfect for small shelves or tabletops as it doesn’t take up very much space.  It could be placed in a corner on the floor if preferred.  We run it with the closet doors open when needed.  This one is about the size of a football; very lightweight and we’ve found, on humid days, we only have to empty about every third day but it does the job required.
The Eva-Dry Electric Petite Dehumidifier uses Peltier Technology (no compressor) which makes it light and quiet. It is perfect for bathrooms, and small to mid-sized rooms where dampness and humidity are a problem. This unit is small enough to easily fit on your desk or workbench. It extracts the moisture from the air and stores it in a spill-proof reservoir. Just plug it in and it quietly dries the air. Features an automatic shut off switch to shut the unit off when the water reservoir is full. When this occurs a”full” indicator light will alert you when the reservoir needs to be emptied. Holds up to 16 oz.
The bigger dehumidifier we bought at the same time is the Eva-Dry “Mid Size” 2200 Dehumidifier (Model #EVD2200).  We purchased the Mid Size for about $100 (S&H free because we used Amazon Prime).  We use this dehumidifier in the main living space (kitchen/living area).  This one is a tad bit taller than the Petite but of course that’s because this one facilitates a larger space.  Also ‘whisper quiet’, we don’t even realize its running; it’s that quiet.  We place this one on the floor out of the way beside one of the recliners.  This one also requires us to empty approximately every three days.
The Eva Dry Mid-Size Dehumidifier – Eva-Dry electric mid-size dehumidifier with Peltier (no compressor) technology which makes it light and quiet. The unit draws humid air in and heats it over a warm plate inside the dehumidifier, then cools the air causing condensation which is trapped in the removable, spill-proof reservoir. Dry air is then expelled out. Features an automatic water level detector switch to indicate that the tank is full. Built in handle for portability and easy to use controls. Ideal for bathrooms, boats, campers, counter tops, and more. Works well in areas up to 2200 cubic feet. Absorbs 20.5 ounces of moisture in a 24 hour period with relative humidity of 80% at 86 degrees Fahrenheit. 9″ W x 14″ H x 7-1/2″ D. White. 1 year limited warranty. – Coverage Area: 2200 cu ft, Capacity: 20.5 oz/Day, Fan Speed: 1 Speed, Amperage Rating: 6A, Wattage Rating: 72W, Voltage Rating: 110V, Decibels: N/A, Tank Capacity: 2L, Dimensions: 8-1/2″ W x 14″ H x 6-3/4″ D.



In a nutshell, we love these!  They do what they’re supposed to do.  The $150 we spent for them was money well spent considering what the result could be if we didn’t have them.  Seriously, we ‘can tell’ that they are working.  We can literally feel the drier air when in use.  While owning an RV, we will never be without them.

So, if you’re in the market of purchasing an RV, Camper or even a boat, put these on your list of ‘must haves’.  The small amount of money paid now is a huge amount of money saved later.  Look at these as ‘protecting your investment’.

DISCLAIMER:  In writing this article, we are not compensated by Eva Dry nor Amazon for this review.  These words are strictly from experience and opinion of the Editor.  We will not be held liable for misuse of this article or in the event they don’t work for your individual use or situation.  We recommend doing your own research and gather other reviews prior to purchase.