Cavco Interested in Acquiring Skyline Corp.

In an earlier post on Vogel Talks RVing, I reported that Skyline Corporation had signed a letter of interest for Middlebury, Indiana-based Evergreen Recreational Vehicles LLC to acquire substantially all of the assets of Skyline’s Recreational Vehicle Division.

Cavco-logoIn a related development Cavco Industries Inc. announced its interest in a potential acquisition of Skyline Corp., a publicly-traded company, at “a significant market premium.”

The announcement came shortly after news of the tentative agreement to sell Skyline’s RV division to EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC was released.

During the past several weeks, Cavco Industries has attempted to open a dialogue with the board of directors of Skyline through a series of formal communications, according to a news release. Cavco has suggested that it would be in the best interest of Skyline shareholders for its board to discuss the various proposals by Cavco to improve shareholder value, including a purchase by Cavco of all outstanding shares of Skyline at an attractive premium to current market prices.

Cavco, a leading producer of manufactured homes, said that Skyline did not respond to any of its attempts over an approximately 30-day period to engage in a productive dialogue, which included a series of letters addressed to Skyline’s board of directors, phone calls to Skyline’s longest serving board member and former CEO, and Joseph Stegmayer, president and CEO of Cavco, attending Skyline’s annual meeting of shareholders in an effort to discuss the matter with any of Skyline’s directors who would be open to exploring options for maximizing shareholder value.

After Cavco sent two additional written communications addressed to Skyline’s board of directors, one of which asked Skyline to respond within one week to simply schedule a time for preliminary discussions between the companies, Cavco received a letter on September 25 from Skyline’s lead director stating without further explanation that the board would not be able to respond to Cavco’s request within the requested time frame.

Skyline Corp logoCavco’s proposed offer set forth in its letter would provide liquidity for Skyline shareholders at a substantial premium of 29 percent to 66 percent above the September 24 closing price of $2.71 per share. Cavco’s offer would have no financing contingencies. Cavco also offered other possible concepts that would assist Skyline.

While a successful sale of the RV division may provide short-term liquidity for Skyline, it would not address the substantially larger operating losses incurred by the housing segment in the last seven fiscal years, Cavco said. The RV division of Skyline’s business represented less than half of Skyline’s fiscal 2014 loss before income taxes of $11.9 million. In contrast, Cavco has proposed to purchase all of Skyline’s operations at a significant premium to market that Cavco believes will provide a greater and more assured and definitive return to Skyline’s shareholders.

Stegmayer commented, “Cavco has a great deal of respect for the Skyline brand and for Skyline’s experienced and highly credentialed board members. Unfortunately, Skyline has experienced difficult times during the past seven years and has meaningfully underperformed.”

Skyline has reported annual losses before income taxes for seven consecutive fiscal years, 2008 through 2014. These cumulative losses total approximately $122 million before income taxes, the majority of which were incurred by the housing segment. Skyline shareholders’ equity declined from approximately $178 million at the beginning of fiscal 2008 to approximately $34 million at May 31, 2014. On August 22, 2014, Skyline’s independent accounting firm issued a qualified opinion regarding Skyline’s ability to continue as a going concern.

Layton travel trailer from Skyline RV

Layton travel trailer from Skyline RV

Skyline’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2014, further disclosed, “Due to recurring losses, the corporation experienced negative cash flows from operating activities. As a result, the corporation has utilized its cash, investments in U.S. Treasury Bills, proceeds from the sale of assets and borrowings from the cash surrender of life insurance policies. The level of historical negative cash flows from operations and not having available funding from outside financing sources raise substantial doubt about the corporation’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

Cavco said it remains interested in holding productive discussions with Skyline. With the cooperation of Skyline’s officers and directors, Cavco and its advisors are prepared to conduct an expedited due diligence review and expect that a transaction can be concluded in a relatively quick time frame.

The release stated, “Although Skyline’s operating losses and financial distress and its board’s unwillingness to even entertain preliminary discussions have made it difficult for Cavco to determine the precise valuation it will apply in a transaction, Cavco has been able to establish the range mentioned in the letter attached based on Cavco’s and its advisors’ analysis of Skyline’s public filings. It is possible that a higher figure could be justified following open discussions with Skyline.”

Worth Pondering…

Cherish yesterday, dream tomorrow, live today.

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More September 2014 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced five recall notices involving two recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Jayco and Entegra.

Jayco, Inc.

Jayco Color logo birdMiddlebury, Indiana-based Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Seneca motorhomes, manufactured May 7, 2012, through February 12, 2014, and equipped with an entrance door that includes a TriMark Keyless Entry System. Water infiltration into the back of the TriMark Keypad at the entrance door may cause corrosion on the electrical components of the keypad.

Corrosion due to water infiltration could result in an electrical short, increasing the risk of a fire.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will add a 5 amp fuse to protect against a short circuit, free of charge. Additionally, a remedy to prevent the ingress of water is being developed. The recall is expected to begin in September 2014. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Jayco, Inc.

Jayco Color logo birdMiddlebury, Indiana-based Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 White Hawk Summit 27RBOK travel trailers manufactured November 12, 2013, through July 10, 2014. One of the tires may rub against the outrigger while making sharp turns.

A tire that rubs against the outrigger may result in premature wear of the tire or tire failure, increasing the risk of a crash.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the outrigger and position it correctly if necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in September 2014. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety

Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Jayco, Inc.

Jayco Color logo birdMiddlebury, Indiana-based Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Precept motorhomes manufactured January 3, 2013, to July 14, 2014. Due to the routing and inadequate protection of the wiring for the driver’s and passenger’s electric seats, the wires may get damaged by the seats moving up and down, and back and forth.

Damaged wires may short, increasing the risk of a fire.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will reroute the electric seat wires and install an additional 10 amp circuit breaker, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in September 2014. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety

Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Jayco, Inc.

Jayco Color logo birdMiddlebury, Indiana-based Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain model year 2015 Seismic 19A, 19E, and 19F fifth wheel trailers manufactured June 2, 2014, to July 24, 2014. The affected vehicles may have incorrect cargo carrying capacity (CCC) information printed on the CCC Label. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims and Motor Home/Recreation Vehicle Trailer Load Carrying Capacity Information For Motor Vehicles With a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less.”

If the user overloads the trailer by following the incorrect information on CCC label, it could affect drivability and cause premature tire wear or tire failure, increasing the risk of of a crash.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will replace the existing CCC Label with a corrected CCC Label, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in September 2014. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901219.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety

Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Entegra Coach

Entegra-Coach-Color-300x233Middlebury, Indiana-based Entegra Coach (Entegra) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Cornerstone motorhomes manufactured January 21, 2014, through March 25, 2014 and equipped with certain Villa ABTS driver and passenger seats. The seat belt attachment may be incorrect and the seat belt may fray if it rubs along a steel bracket in the seat, reducing its strength. As such, these seats do not conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 209, “Seat Belt Assemblies.”

The weakened seat belt may fail to properly restrain the seat occupant in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

Entegra will work with Villa to notify owners, and dealers will inspect and repair the seat with proper fasteners and inspect the seat belt webbing for fraying and replace the seat belt assembly, if necessary, free of charge. The recall began in June 2014. Owners may contact Entegra customer service at 1-800-945-4787.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety

Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the 41st in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.

—Stephen Covey

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September 2014 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced five recall notices involving two recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Tiffin Motorhomes and Forest River.

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc.

TiffinLogo-UnitRed Bay, Alabama-based Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain model year 2013 Allegro Bus recreational vehicles equipped with Villa ISS GSK driver and passenger seats. The seat belt attachment may be incorrect and the seat belt may fray if it rubs along a steel bracket in the seat, reducing its strength. As such, these seats do not conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 209, “Seat Belt Assemblies.”

The weakened seat belt may fail to properly restrain the seat occupant in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

Tiffin will notify owners, and dealers will inspect for the correct seat belt installation, or re-assemble the seat belt correctly with proper attachment hardware if necessary, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety

Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc.

tiffin_logoRed Bay, Alabama-based Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain model year 2014 Allegro Bus recreational vehicles equipped with certain Villa International ABTS driver and passenger ABTS seats. The seat belt attachment may be incorrect and the seat belt may fray if it rubs along a steel bracket in the seat, reducing its strength. As such, these seats do not conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 209, “Seat Belt Assemblies.”

The weakened seat belt may fail to properly restrain the seat occupant in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

Tiffin will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and, as necessary, repair the single link system with fasteners and re-attaching the seat belt bracket, free of charge. The recall began in August 2014. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety

Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverElkhart, Indiana-based Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 F33-CKTS fifth wheels, equipped with I.D. black iron pipe for the L.P. system. The affected vehicles may experience the pipe being damaged or punctured due to the spring action of the axle suspension.

If the iron pipe becomes damaged due to the spring action of the axle suspension, it could potentially cause a vehicle fire.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a replacement kit, part number 32096, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-219-533-5934. Forest River’s number for this recall is FR430-14-1.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety

Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River Inc.

forest-RiverElkhart, Indiana-based Forest River Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Georgetown, Sunseeker, Forester, Cross Country, Pathfinder, Cardinal, Blue Ridge, Cedar Creek, and Brookstone recreational vehicles manufactured March 11, 2013, through April 26, 2013 and equipped with certain Frigidaire Convection Microwave models CFMV152CLB and CFMV154CLS. The microwave may start on it’s own and begin heating when unattended.

If the microwave starts on its own and there are contents inside, a fire could result.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will repair the membrane/keypad component, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in September 2014. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-353-7383.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety

Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverElkhart, Indiana-based Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2012-2015 Coachmen 2150LE Prism motor homes manufactured July 2011 to May 2014. Due to the welds being in an improper location, the liquid propane (LP) tank support braces may not be secure, allowing the LP tank to drop and fall off the vehicle while in transit.

If the LP tank drops or falls off the vehicle while in transit, there is an increased risk of fire or explosion.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a repair kit, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin during October 2014. Owners may contact Coachmen customer service at 1-800-353-7383.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety

Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the 40th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

Success is peace of mind in knowing you did your best.

—John Wooden

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Cruiser RV Introduces SmartKey System with all 2015 models

Howe, Indiana-based Cruiser RV has announced the introduction of the SmartKey System.

Cruiser RV Introduces SmartKey System with all 2015 models

Cruiser RV Introduces SmartKey System with all 2015 models

Starting with the 2015 model year, all trailer locks (baggage, entry, etc.) on Cruiser RV units will use only one key per unit, including all doors and storage compartments.

Marketed as the SmartKey system, the feature represents an industry-segment first and an exclusive feature to Cruiser RV not found on any other brand, according to a company news release.

Toy hauler units can require many keys, often needing two for the ramp door alone, one for each lock on either side, and the entry, and baggage doors.

Along with the reduction in the number of keys, SmartKey features an upgrade to a LED lighted fob with SmartKey logo as an added benefit. This is a standard feature at no additional charge.

Cruiser RV had to coordinate this consolidation with several baggage door, entry door, and hardware suppliers over the last year, but it was well worth the effort to produce something all buyers will appreciate.

“My wife and I were camping with friends in Ohio and all the keys were aggravating to me,” said Jeff Fought, president of Cruiser RV.

“It never fails, the key for the door you’re trying to open is always the last key you try. I thought this isn’t very user friendly, so we need to do something better for our customers. SmartKey is just one more upgrade that supports our new theme of ‘100 percent Genuine’ lightweight travel trailers.”

Details

Cruiser RV, LLC

Cruiser_RV-new logo_20133-660x330Cruiser RV, LLC is an industry leader in lightweight, towable travel trailers.

Family owned, Cruiser RV is headquartered in Howe, Indiana and produces six brands of RVs, including the Shadow Cruiser, Fun Finder, ViewFinder Signature, Radiance, Fun Finder XTRA, and Integra.

Cruiser RV is a sister company to high-end fifth wheel manufacturer, DRV Luxury Suites.

Location: 7805 North SR 9, Howe, Indiana

Address: P.O. Box 130, Howe, Indiana 46746

Phone: (260) 562-3500

Website: www.cruiserrv.com

Worth Pondering…

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.
Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.

—Henry Ford

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Composite Construction: An EverGreen EverLite Innovative Advantage

The Ever-Lite travel trailer, built with ComposiTek construction, has been manufactured continuously by Middlebury, Indiana-based EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC since 2008.

Composite Construction: An EverGreen EverLite Innovative Advantage

Composite Construction: An EverGreen EverLite Innovative Advantage

It remains the only composite travel trailer on the market today providing consumers with a longer lasting investment than conventionally built RVs. The waterproof composite materials used in an Ever-Lite provide consumers with the distinct advantage of owning an RV resistant to moisture, rot, and mildew that combine to shorten the life of conventionally built RVs, according to a company news release.

Ever-Lite remains EverGreen’s innovative composite flagship brand. The up-front investment in composite materials, and the complexity of manufacturing with composites, are just two of the reasons the EverGreen Ever-Lite remains the only composite travel trailer built to this day.

ComposiTek construction features include:

  • Ever-Lite trailers are vacuum laminated on all six sides which involves coating dense, block foam insulation with urethane adhesive and placing the entire composite wall, floor, and roof systems into a high-pressure, heated, vacuum machine. Once these adhesives cure into one piece, the composite structure of an Ever-Lite is more durable and will last longer than wood-based construction.
  • Duralite double-welded aluminum structure is stronger and lighter. EverGreen double welds aluminum framing around all six sides, all window and door openings for added stiffness and strength.
  • Durable TPO roof requires no maintenance or special dressings. The roof skin, or membrane, is made of plastic roof material that is vacuum bonded to prevent bubbles or lifting and won’t black streak or lose its reflective white color.
  • The high-gloss fiberglass gel-coated exterior on an Ever-Lite has a composite substrate that is tougher than conventional materials. The fiberglass cap helps to protect the coach and adds to its aerodynamic properties. The full front cap is accented with two-tone automotive paint and Diamond Shield clear stone guard to resist dents.
New EverGreen Ever-Lite 275FLS floor plan

New EverGreen Ever-Lite 275FLS floor plan

“This is the brand that started the company,” stated Ever-Lite Product Manager, Kevin Slater.

“Our goal has always been to remain on the cutting edge with the Ever-Lite brand and its composite technology. As we continue to develop more product lines and evolve as a company, we stay true to the Ever-Lite and our original, lighter more durable concept.”

There are eight versatile and functional floor plans for 2015 including kitchen islands, rear bunkhouse models, rear lounge, and rear bath varieties. Interior amenities in all Ever-Lite models are designed for quality-minded, high-end buyers. Residential finishes can be found throughout, from the padded vinyl flooring to solid wood cabinetry with raised panel cabinet doors. The kitchen features Corian countertops, a large double-door refrigerator-freezer and residential sink.

Ever-Lite is available with 42-inch, deep slide floor plans—six inches more than the competition. The larger slides give the Ever-Lite an open concept feel along with plenty of lighting from the frameless automotive-style windows, skylights, and the entry door window. The coach is also equipped with bright LED interior lighting, crowned ceiling moldings and over-stuffed furniture to add that touch of home.

“With all the exciting new innovations we’ve got for 2015, I think our customers will appreciate that the Ever-Lite legacy is unchanged,” explained Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Doug Lantz.

“We continue to update and refine the Ever-Lite’s style to meet our customers’ wants and needs, without losing sight of what makes it so special. Our flagship brand remains the only full-composite travel trailer out there to this day.”

Details

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC

EverGreen Everlite_LogoEverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC was founded in December of 2008 with the premise that the recreational vehicle industry needed a new generation of innovative, sustainable, eco-friendly, green travel trailers and fifth wheels built like none before.

The vision of EverGreen is to use sustainable eco-friendly, recyclable, composite materials to replace wood and produce higher quality, longer-lasting products that are fully equipped, yet lightweight.

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC is the first RV manufacturer to achieve the TRA Certified Green Emerald Rating for its eco-friendly Ever-Lite travel trailers and fifth wheels.

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC currently offers six lines of travel trailers (Ever-Lite, Sun Valley, I-Go, Ascend, Element, and Amped), four lines of fifth wheel trailers (Bay Hill, Tesla, Lifestyle, and Alfa Gold), and three lines of toy haulers (Amped, Tesla, and Reactor).

Of the top 15 towable RV manufacturers, EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC, along with its Lifestyle Luxury RV fifth-wheel division, was the fastest growing company in the industry for both registered retail sales and total increase in market share for the year 2013.

Address: 10758 County Road 2, Middlebury, IN 46540

Phone: (574) 825-4298

Website: www.goevergreenrv.com

Worth Pondering…

Within our dreams and aspirations we find our opportunities.

—Sue Atchley Ebaugh

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Heartland Introduces Landmark 365 for Baby Boomers

Nine months ago Heartland Recreational Vehicles made the decision to invest in the future of Landmark.

Landmark 365 by Heartland

Landmark 365 by Heartland

The company made it a stand-alone division and hired industry veteran Tom Montague to lead Landmark in a new direction.

Today, that investment in the future is paying off, according to a company news release.

Landmark 365 is starting to hit dealer lots all across the country. More than that, the product has been well received by dealers and Heartland has seen a tremendous increase in retail orders in a short period of time.

“They have complete confidence in me,” said Montague.

“They’ve given me the freedom and the tools to do what it takes to build an industry-leading brand. All great Landmarks have a story and LM365 is no different. While most of the industry is diversifying their offering, we are focused like a laser. We know exactly who we are and exactly what we want to accomplish.”

“LM365 is built for the Baby Boomers but we’ve broken it down even further,” said Montague, noting there are three distinct groups under the Baby Boomer umbrella.

“First, are the permanent site or extended stay Boomers who don’t travel much; second are the newly retired, on-the-go Boomers who can’t wait to see what North America has to offer; and the third and growing group is work campers, folks who are still working and choose to live in a fifth-wheel.”

landmark_logoThere are 17 million Baby Boomers scheduled to retire over the next 15 years.

“LM365 is building a product to meet the growing needs of this diverse group,” said Heartland President Chris Hermon.

“Tom’s team understands the market better than anyone in the industry.”

Details

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC

Heartland Recreational Vehicles is a leading manufacturer of towable recreational vehicles in the U.S. The Company markets over 16 brands of fifth wheel trailers, travel trailers, and toy haulers including Landmark, Big Horn, Big Country, Gateway, Silverado, ElkRidge, Sundance, North Trail, Prowler, Cyclone, Road Warrior, Wilderness, Trail Runner, Fairfield, Resort, and Oakmont.

Heartland is number three in market share in fifth wheels and closing in on being among the top five towable manufacturers of fifth wheels and travel trailers combined.

Heartland’s towable RVs are sold through an independent network of dealers throughout the United States and Canada.

The Company has over 900 employees.

Heartland factory tours are conducted Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 3:00 p.m.

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC is a division of Thor Industries Inc.

HeartlandAddress: 1001 All-Pro Drive, Elkhart, Indiana 46514

Phone: (574) 262-5992 or (888) 262-5992 (toll free)

Website: www.heartlandrvs.com

Worth Pondering…

Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.

—Vince Lombardi

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EverGreen RV To Acquire Skyline RV

Skyline Corporation has signed a letter of interest for Middlebury, Indiana-based Evergreen Recreational Vehicles LLC to acquire substantially all of the assets of Skyline’s Recreational Vehicle Division.

Javelin travel trailer from Skyline RV

Javelin travel trailer from Skyline RV

“I am very excited to be acquiring the RV Division from Skyline,” stated Kelly L. Rose, chairman of the board of Evergreen Recreational Vehicles.

“(Skyline founder) Art Decio has been a longtime friend of mine and a person who I hold in the highest esteem and respect. As everyone knows in our community as well as our industry, Art is an icon and legend in the manufactured housing and RV industry.

“I consider this a great honor to accept the reins from Art and carry on a longtime tradition of quality and integrity that Art has instilled in his companies over the years,” said Rose, who has established a pretty rich legacy of his own in the RV industry that includes ownership of the former Starcraft Corp., several supplier companies and, most recently, majority partner in EverGreen, a six-year-old, 350-employee RV builder.

“The Evergreen management team led by our CEO Michael H. Schoeffler and our president and COO Mark A. Boessler are extremely excited about the challenges that lie ahead as we merge this great company under the Evergreen RV umbrella.”

Nomad travel trailer from Skyline RV

Nomad travel trailer from Skyline RV

“Obviously the most important issues that face us immediately are retaining the very loyal employees of Skyline as well as solidifying and building on the tremendous dealer body that has partnered with Skyline over the decades,” said Rose.

“The brand names of Nomad, Layton, and Aljo have been in the marketplace for 50 years, and remain our focus on continuing building on the great image,” remarked Mike Schoeffler, CEO.

The obligations of Skyline Corporation and Evergreen Recreational Vehicles under this letter of interest are contingent upon the negotiation, execution, and delivery of a definitive asset acquisition agreement satisfactory to both parties.

The tentative transaction includes some real estate, EverGreen RV spokesmen confirm.

Spokesmen for Skyline were unavailable for comment.

Founded in 1951 in Elkhart as a manufactured housing builder—a business sector that remains the company’s strength today—Skyline opened its first travel trailer plant in 1960 and generally focused on affordable lines over the years. The publicly traded company operated for decades in the black, and, for about five years during the late 1980s and early ‘90s, built Class C motorhomes.

Dart travel trailer from Skyline RV

Dart travel trailer from Skyline RV

But Skyline, which was posting sales of as much as $645 million in 1996 versus net sales of $191.7 million in fiscal 2014, clearly hadn’t performed up to expectations in recent times.

Net 2014 sales for Skyline’s RV segment totaled $45.9 million compared to $66.5 million for the same period in fiscal 2013. For fiscal 2014, the companywide net loss was $11.9 million compared to a net loss of $10.5 million a year earlier.

However, Skyline’s RV division was in the midst of a turnaround effort that included an all-new lineup of Trident, Javelin, and Dart fifth wheels and travel trailers on display at the recent Elkhart County RV Open House.

Skyline, meanwhile, has retained a viable second place market share in the manufacture of park model RVs, with a 12.4 percent share of that niche market.

Details

Skyline RV

Layton travel trailer from Skyline RV

Layton travel trailer from Skyline RV

Founded in 1951 in Elkhart, Indiana, Skyline initially produced the affordable housing units popularly known as house trailers or mobile homes. These units evolved into today’s manufactured and modular housing.

In 1960, Skyline opened its first travel trailer plant. Skyline has earned a reputation for uncompromising integrity in all of its relationships with communities, suppliers, retailers, and with the hundreds of thousands of Americans who live in Skyline-built homes and enjoy Skyline-built RVs.

Website: www.skylinerv.com

Worth Pondering…

The past is a ghost, the future a dream. All we ever have is now.

—Bill Cosby

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Airstream Introduces Quietstream Climate Control

Just when you thought an Airstream was the most streamlined travel trailer available, the manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer went one step further by adding ducted climate control.

Airstream Introduces Quietstream Climate Control

Airstream Introduces Quietstream Climate Control

Sleekly integrated ceiling vents throughout the travel trailer not only add to an already aesthetically pleasing interior, but the reduction in noise is phenomenal—all making your travel experience perfect.

Quietstream is standard on Flying Cloud, International Signature and Serenity, Eddie BauerLand Yacht, and Classic models 25 feet and up.

Quietstream at a Glance

What can you expect from the Airstream Quietstream Climate Control System?

Significantly reduced noise-level, thanks to an exterior-mounted heat pump/ cooling unit

Integrated venting for a sleek interior design aesthetic

Improved cooling efficiency to save money and energy

Improved heating performance, supplementing the standard LP gas furnace

Available on all 2015 models 25 feet and up

Details

Airstream

AAirstream Introduces Quietstream Climate Control

Airstream Introduces Quietstream Climate Control

Airstream, maker of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

Following founder Wally Byam’s credo, “Let’s not make changes, let’s only make improvements” Airstream has remained a timeless classic.

A division of Thor Industries, Airstream is based in Jackson Center, Ohio.

Address: 419 West Pike Street, P.O. Box 629, Jackson Center, OH 45334-0629

Phone: (877) 596-6111 (toll free)

Website: www.airstream.com

Worth Pondering…

Airstream Song

Sometimes I wish I lived in airstream homemade curtains
Lived just like a gypsy.
Break a heart, roll out of town
Cause gypsies never get tied down
—Lyrics by Miranda Lambert, Natalie Nicole Hemby, Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert; sung by Miranda Lambert

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Best Fall Foliage, Leaf Peepers & The National Media

Known for its vibrant culture and rich history, Taos, New Mexico and the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway have earned their positions among leaf peepers and national media alike as being one of the top locations in the United States to see an impressive fall landscape dotted with a palette of warm reds, oranges, and gold foliage.

Explore the Enchanted Circle scenic byway through valleys, mesa, mountains, and national forest... all unique to north central New Mexico.

Explore the Enchanted Circle scenic byway through valleys, mesa, mountains, and national forest… all unique to north central New Mexico.

In the past month alone, Taos and the Enchanted Circle have topped several “best fall trip” lists in the country including in: Huffington Post (“10 Best Fall Foliage Trips In The U.S.”), National Geographic (“10 Best Fall Trips in World”), Los Angeles Times (“New Mexico’s Enchanted Byway Brings Fall Foliage Viewing Full Circle”), and USA Today (“10 Best: Places to see fall colors”), to name a few.

According to US Forest Service officials from the Carson National Forest which encompasses Taos County, elevations above 8,500 are beginning to peak and will reach their height by the first week of October. In the Carson National Forest, several hiking spots allow for prime leaf peeping while hiking. They include: Middle Fork Trail 24 (25 miles south of Taos on NM 518 in Peñasco); Devisadero Trail, once used by the Taos Pueblo Indians standing guard against raiding Apaches (three miles east of Taos along US 64); and Williams Lake Trail (near Taos Ski Valley).

Taos sits at an elevation of just under 7,000 feet, while villages along the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway range in elevation from 7,392 in Questa to 8,650 feet in Red River.

The 85-mile Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway Loop can take anywhere from 2.5 hours to half a day, depending on stops. The highest peak in New Mexico—Wheeler Peak at 13,167 feet—is visible along the route, or can become a diversion along the route through the scenic Taos Ski Valley.

The Byway loop begins in the original art colony of Taos and meanders through the Hondo Valley where famous author D.H. Lawrence once lived. The D.H. Lawrence Ranch was recently reopened to the public through the end of October. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Leaf peepers will notice Wheeler Peak along the windy road to Questa which is just half an hour north of Taos. The Wild Rivers area is where the Red River behind the town joins the Rio Grande in its deep and dramatic gorge. From Questa, the steep ascent into Red River is unusually scenic, offering stirring vistas of spruce and aspen.

Eagle Nest

Known as the Gateway to the picturesque Enchanted Circle in North Central New Mexico, Eagle Nest is conveniently located near Angel Fire Ski Resort and Red River ski area, Eagle Nest Lake, Cimarron Canyon, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Parks. (Source: iredriver.com)

Eagle Nest, just south of Red River, has a beautiful 2,400 acre lake stocked with trout and kokanee salmon and a chance to see wildlife such as elk, deer, bear, and eagles. The drive culminates with a stop at Angel Fire where the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park stands. Built by one family as a shrine to their fallen son, the site is one of unusual emotion and presence. The drive returns to Taos along Highway 64.

Expect to see aspens changing to a vibrant gold along the drive in addition to Gambel Oak which transforms into a rusty red hue in fall. Golden cottonwoods along the Rio Grande River should also be visible in Taos.

Alternate directions (east to west) along the Enchanted Circle from Taos are: turn east on NM 585 (Paseo del Cañon), which dead ends at US 64, turn right. US 64 continues to Angel Fire and Eagle Nest. From Eagle Nest, turn north on NM 38 to Red River and into Questa. In Questa, turn south (left) on NM 522 which returns to Taos.

Another option for visitors seeking an eye-full is the “High Road,” which totals over 100 miles roundtrip, but offers awe-inspiring scenery and remote mountain villages that cling to their Spanish colonial roots.

Fall is a season of color in Taos: the gold of aspen and cottonwood trees, the red and green of chile peppers, and the multi-colored artist's palette.

Fall is a season of color in Taos: the gold of aspen and cottonwood trees, the red and green of chile peppers, and the multi-colored artist’s palette.

Along with a multi-hued feast for the eyes, Taos has many colorful cultural offerings in late September and early October including the 40th annual Fall Arts Festival and Taos Wool Festival, to name a few.

The oldest art festival in Taos—Taos Fall Arts Festival—features nine days of art events including The Paseo on September 26 which will feature outdoor art installations, performances, and visual projections. Taos Selects, Distinguished Achievement Awards, Memorial Wall, Pecha Kucha Night, and many more special events are intertwined within this amazing festival which takes place September 26–October 5. Visit taosfallarts.com for details.

One of Taos’ signature events—the 31st Wool Festival at Taos—will be held on October 4 and 5 and includes juried fiber arts creations; critters corner with live animals; demonstrations; silent auction; kid’s hands on section; contests; food vendors and more. Visit taoswoolfestival.org to learn more about the free event.

For complete information about Taos including more about the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway drive, visit taos.org.

Worth Pondering…

I think New Mexico was the greatest experience from the outside world that I ever had. It certainly changed me forever….The moment I saw the brilliant, proud morning sunshine high over the deserts of Santa Fe, something stood still in my soul, and I started to attend….In the magnificent fierce morning of New Mexico one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly, and the world gave way to the new.

—D.H. Lawrence

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LIFESTYLE Luxury RV Introduces Side Hauler Fifth Wheel

Middlebury, Indiana-based LIFESTYLE Luxury RV, a division of EverGreen Recreational Vehicles, announced that it has developed the first “Side Hauler” luxury fifth wheel with the introduction of the new Alfa Gold 3905SH for 2015.

LIFESTYLE Luxury RV Introduces Side Hauler Fifth Wheel

LIFESTYLE Luxury RV Introduces Side Hauler Fifth Wheel

The versatile new luxury fifth wheel has three options to choose from utilizing a large four by nine foot slide room that offers 36 square feet of useable space, according to a company news release.

The new 3905 Side Hauler comes in three distinct loading configurations:

  • Motorcycle Garage Option with a custom designed lift system that moves the bike from street level to a private garage inside the fifth wheel.
  • Storage Room Option that provides plenty of space with an exterior loading bay for everything from kayaks to bicycles for the entire family.
  • Kids Room Option that houses the little ones in their own space complete with full-sized, retractable bunk beds, storage—even a flat screen TV.

Motorcycle Garage Option. Built tough to handle one full-sized motorcycle, this unique lift system is the perfect solution for those who want the convenience of a toy hauler without compromising luxury living space. The exclusive lift system is 8-foot long and about 2-feet wide and is built with 3/8 inch steel powder-coated for durability. The heavy-duty winch uses aircraft-grade cable.

A remote control with cord allows easy loading and unloading of your bike with one person. Simply open the access door, lower the lift system, strap the bike on the lift ramp, and raise it gently into the side hauler slide room. When you are ready to depart, power the Side Hauler slide room into the coach and head down the road. Your motorcycle is kept isolated, with room for tools in its own private LED lit garage, until the next destination.

LIFESTYLE Luxury RV Introduces Side Hauler Fifth Wheel

LIFESTYLE Luxury RV Introduces Side Hauler Fifth Wheel

Storage Room Option. The storage room option provides 36 square feet of unencumbered storage. That’s room for six kayaks, a fleet of bicycles, or simply space for your antiques and collectables. An access door provides easy loading from the outside. Now you can take it all with you in the Alfa Gold Side Hauler.

Kids Room Option. The perfect private space for the children features two retractable, full-sized HappiJac bunks that store up and out of the way to create a 36 square foot playroom. The Kids Room can sleep four little ones comfortably. Corner wardrobes with drawers provide storage for kids clothing and toys. There’s a flat screen TV for entertainment and gaming on the wall inside the Kids Room. A privacy door separates the slide room from the main living room from active children playing.

The 3905SH is designed for larger families or couples looking for more storage and entertainment versatility. The living room seats seven comfortably with a large sofa in the rear of the coach that converts to a queen sized bed that sleeps two. Two recliner chairs next to a freestanding table that seat four more adults are in the large slide room opposite the versatile slide room.

3905SH Storage Option

3905SH Storage Option

The center island food prep area is complemented by an L-shaped galley with the stove and refrigerator in a slide on the outside wall and sink with overhead storage mid coach. A spacious pantry with etched glass doors complete the food prep triangle.

High-end standard features in the kitchen begin with beautiful Corian countertops. Stainless steel appliances are stylish and functional and the gourmet kitchen includes a 12-cubic foot double door refrigerator, microwave, three-burner range, and oven.

The mid-bath layout has access to guests off a separate door in the hallway up to the bedroom. The massive queen bed slide out has two nightstands and opens up the bedroom for easy access to drawers, the front wardrobe with adjacent storage shelves, and walk in closet that is prepped for an optional washer/dryer.

Details

LIFESTYLE Luxury RV

LIFESTYLE Luxury RV, manufactured in Middlebury, Indiana, assembled a team of the industry’s best and brightest who are putting their expertise to work to give the RV industry a new choice for resort-ready luxury fifth wheels.

The company focuses on creating the ideal year-round living experience through construction that’s second to none and by delivering a higher level of service to both dealers and customers. For the savvy fifth wheel buyer, the difference is clear — the difference is LIFESTYLE Luxury RV.

3905SH Motorcycle Garage Option

3905SH Motorcycle Garage Option

LIFESTYLE Luxury RV is a division of Middlebury, Indiana-based EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC

Address: 51700 Lovejoy Drive, Middlebury, IN 46540

Phone: (574) 825-5578 (LLRV)

Website: www.lifestylelrv.com

Worth Pondering…

RVing puts the world at your doorstep. Wherever your doorstep happens to be.

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