RV Super Show marks boom in industry - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

RV Super Show marks boom in industry

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The RV industry continues to bounce back. It's an industry at the heart of the Michiana economy.

Today, the 58th annual Midwest R-V Super Show kicked off, featuring 13 RV dealers-- five more dealers than last year.

Ten of the 13 dealers are local companies, but not all the shoppers are local.

The Arneson couple came all the way from Iowa.

"Well I think it's just the opportunity to see all different areas of the country," said Donovan Arneson.

This show is the first opportunity in the nation where buyers get to check out the newest 2014 models. It runs through Sunday at the RV Hall of Fame in Elkhart.

For the Tredway family at the show from Edwardsburg, RV time means family time.

"I'm all about family so I want to do things that I can do with the kids while they can still enjoy it and not wanting to be out on their own yet, " said Joe Tredway.

The family has already traveled to 33 states. Now they're looking to upgrade as they travel to the states that are left on their list.

That's why they came to RV Super Show, and the industry is welcoming them with open arms.

"It's been really nice... everyone's really nice and helpful," said Tredway.

President and CEO of the Elkhart Economic Development Corporation says the RV market is all about the American dream of travelling.

"Because of the economic crisis we've all experienced people are still wanting to bond with their families even more than probably they have in the past and the RVs give them that avenue to be with family," said Dorinda Heiden-Guss.

Indiana RV Council Director, Matt Rose, says consumer confidence is up since the election year is behind us, and banks are giving out reasonable loans again.

He also says the RV industry has also worked to make their product easier to buy,

"RV manufacturers have responded to the need for lighter more efficient RVs that people can pull with automobiles they already own," said Rose.

The response seems to be working. Industry-wide, RV shipments this year have surpassed 300 thousand units. That hasn't happened since 2007.

In addition, the EDC (Economic Development Corporation) is pleased that both Drew and Thor Industries have relocated in Elkhart County.

They say Thor's sales for this quarter are up almost 20 percent from last year. Thor was also recently ranked number 37 in the nation's top 50 manufacturers for 2013 in the U.S. That's higher than Campbell Soup.

They added that nearly 30,000 people are employed by the RV industry in Elkhart, and the business has helped bolster up the tax base for the county.

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