December '17

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B U S I N E S S Refresh A New Look at the News 62 • RV PRO • December 2017 rv-pro.com By David MacNeal Refresh combines the best of RV PRO's breaking news daily website reporting with additional information, context and insights available in magazine format. The new production line for TrailManor is in its final construction phases at the Hutterite religious colony in South Dakota. TrailManor's new owners expect to begin shipping the company's distinctive trailers to dealers starting in January. " I t's not that hard to build an RV," says Paul Wipf, the man overseeing a group of RV manufacturing newcomers' efforts to bring TrailManor back to life. "What's hard," he says, "is making sure that what you've got is a quality process, and following the process to T. … Frankly, I'd love to see one started today to validate what we're doing because the guys are already here – it's the (facility) that's not ready." On June 21, a Hutterite religious colony in Parkston, S.D., purchased all assets of TrailManor with plans to restore the innovative pop-up trailer to its former glory. All of the property was moved from its last location in Nebraska into a new, 35,000-square-foot facility shortly after the reli- gious colony constructed it. Under Wipf 's guidance, the Hutterites should be able to get shipments of new TrailManor units to dealers in January. Fortunately, previous owner Bob Eikhoff has maintained relationships with the company's dealer partners. As the RV industry continues to ride this rising tide, retired models are beginning to resurface. Chinook is bringing back the Glacier. Grand Coach is resurrecting the Dolphin. And any RV that seemed to have a big following but disappeared during or before the Great Recession may see the light of day yet again. TrailManor had its own loyal following, known as TrailBlazers, until about 2015. In the likes of other niche makers, like nüCamp and TAXA, rallies and meetings were held, as well as a newsletter that published three times a year. Before the Hutterites completed the transaction for TrailManor, their homework showed that fandoms are priceless. Currently, the South Dakota colony is final- izing about eight work stations in the new facility, each manned by two Hutterites. Come January, TrailManor will be shipping its top-selling models: the 2720, 2922, and 3124 Series. Should Wipf 's predictions come true, the manufacturer will be adding an additional production facility soon.

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