July '18

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64 • RV PRO • July 2018 rv-pro.com R V M A N U F A C T U R E R S land reported an all-time sales high for Road Warrior during the January Florida RV Super Show in Tampa. Two new models in the lineup include the 396 with an unobstructed 15-foot garage, solid-surface breakfast bar and a walk-though bathroom that creates more space with a linen closet built into the bedroom slide, according to the company. The 387 is a two-axle floorplan with a 13-foot garage that incorporates Road Warrior's best-selling kitchen design. Quality Assurance Initiatives As Heartland has expanded its facilities and tweaked its offerings, it also has undertaken several major steps to address quality assurance issues. Last fall, Heartland announced a new, three-year limited structural warranty on all 2018 models, which includes toy haulers. The initial response to this initiative has been "fan- tastic," says Eberlein. "This is another way we can say we stand behind our product. It's resonated really well." Meanwhile, during the past year, Heartland has invested more than $4 million in creating a new PDI center for all units built in Elkhart. Up to now, the inspection rate was around 70 percent of all units. The new facility will reduce dealer prep time and propel retail sales. "The first manufacturer that can get product through the dealer's service bays before and after the sale will dominate this industry," Eberlein says. "We're making a conscious effort to be that company." Changing Demographic & Product Uses When the toy hauler segment of the RV market first emerged 30 years ago on the West Coast, it truly reflected its name: Toy hauler. Motorcycles, ATVs, canoes and kayaks were popular toys early on. Toy hauler sizes grew as the range of toys expanded. Smaller toy haulers also appeared as the market became more special- ized. Today, the name's the same, but the toy hauler sizes are diverse and users have spread out over a wider demographic. Now, an estimated 30 percent of toy hauler owners don't even carry toys. Buyers view the cargo area as a multi-functional The Cyclone is Heartland's No. 1 volume producer. It represents the shift in the toy hauler market from a no-frills toter for motorcycles and ATVs to one of the industry's most versatile RVs.

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