October '17

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Meanwhile, Lippert Components used the Caravan Salon to highlight its growing presence in the European market, thanks to its acquisition of four companies (Project 2000, Metallarte, RV Doors and Sessa Klein) in the past 16 months. Lippert took larger exhibit space at this year's Caravan Salon to have more room to showcase its many products. Being shown for the first time at Lippert's booth was a "Smart Caravan" featuring four slide-outs controlled by LCI's OneCon- trol App. This system allows the caravan owner to control the slide-outs, multiple lighting zones, door locks, heating and water level monitoring. LCI also unveiled a new one-touch leveling system on the caravan that was developed from its Ground Control TT leveling technology in the U.S. Jarod Lippert, vice president of marketing and public relations for LCI, said the company's exhibits attracted plenty of attention from show attendees. Coming to America Meanwhile, several RV suppliers based in Europe and exhib- iting at the Caravan Salon said they see strong prospects to launch products in the U.S. market or to increase their existing presence in North America. Polyplastic, a Dutch manufacturer of high-impact acrylic glass windows for European RV OEMs, believes its products would be a natural fit for the U.S. market, according to Maarten Klop, com- pany sales manager. Polyplastic's acrylic windows are durable, weigh 40 percent less than traditional glass windows, and are available in multiple colors and light densities, Klop said, adding that Polyplastic enjoys a 75 percent market share in the European RV market. At the Caravan Salon, Polyplastic was highlighting what it said is the first fully automated sunroof for RVs. The electrically operated sunroof (manually operable in an emergency) allows pas- sengers to open the sunroof during transit and to travel with the sunroof open, just as in a car. Polyplastic said the whole window assemblage – from the acrylic glass to the aluminum frame, the roller blind and mechanics – is produced to automobile standards. Likewise, Alde, a Swedish-based maker of hydronic heating systems for RVs, sees strong opportunities for growth in North America moving forward. The company's products currently can be found in Airstream, nuCamp and Roadtrek units. Alde North American President Ken Elwell said his operation, based in Vancouver, Wash., recently moved into a new, larger 10,000-square-foot facility and has added staff in order to be able to grow the company's market share in the U.S. and Canada. Alde displayed its 3020 HE product at the Caravan Salon, and intends to showcase the hydronic heater at its booth at the upcoming National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky. Also at the Caravan Salon, German supplier Truma showcased a range of products at its large exhibit, including its new Vario- Heat eco heating system. For now, the compact and lightweight gas heater is only available for European vans and caravans, but that might change in the future, according to Mark Howlett, senior vice president of business development with the company's operations in Elkhart, Ind. Howlett noted that the company's Truma Combi combination water heater and furnace and Truma AquaGo tankless water heater, initially introduced in Europe, are growing in popularity in the U.S. thanks in part to the company's reputation for developing compact, lightweight and efficient products. Meanwhile, Italian-based sidewalls supplier is enjoying success with its products on both sides of the Atlantic, according to com- pany General Director Simone Colombarini. The company's man- ufacturing in operation in South Carolina may look at increasing its capacity by 20 percent to keep up with demand, he added. Caravan Salon 2018 Even as the 2017 Caravan Salon was winding down in early September, preparations were already underway for next year's show, which is scheduled for Aug. 24 (trade visitor and media day) to Sept. 2. T@bMan, pictured next to a t@b trailer, hams it up for the camera. The teardrop trailers, which in Europe are manufactured by Tabbert, were very popular with consumers attending the show. A number of suppliers, including Weigh, showcased motorcycle carriers at the show. rv-pro.com October 2017 • RV PRO • 39

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