With the makeover of its Trail Runner brand last fall, Elkhart, Indiana-based Heartland Recreational Vehicle LLC successfully rejuvenated its conventional-built travel trailer line, spurring retail sales and creating sustained demand with the company’s dealers.
“Our dealers were very specific in their needs,” said General Manager Nick Eppert in a news release.
“Through telephone and face-to-face conversations, the need for lower dry weights and a more aggressive price point came through loud and clear.
Accordingly, we made some monumental changes in the product that really paid off.”
The re-engineered, sharply-priced Trail Runner now boasts “more models designed for the half-ton truck market than ever before,” according to Eppert, who reported that dealers took note of the changes.
Julie Leach, sales manager for Leach Camper Sales in Council Bluffs, Iowa, that is currently marking its 50th year of operation, noted, “We at Leach Camper Sales have truly enjoyed our relationship with Heartland’s Trail Runner edition. We have had excellent support from our sales rep and the warranty department. They have responded to our needs immediately and without hesitation. That has allowed us to achieve a dramatic increase in our sales area. We have currently experienced a 30 percent increase from 2011 to 2012 with five more months to go. We look forward to our continued success with Heartland.”
Building on the success of the Trail Runner, Heartland launched the Trail Runner Super Lite Edition (SLE) at the 2011 Louisville Show.
“This product brings even lower dry weights and price points to the table,” Eppert said.
“At Louisville, we showcased two models in our display, and dealer reaction was outstanding. Based on our dealer’s input we quickly expanded the offering.”
The Trail Runner SLE currently offers seven floor plans, available with non-slideouts, traditional slides, and galley sliderooms.
Eppert said that several new introductions for both the Trail Runner and SLE are planned at this year’s Open House, adding, “Even though we are coming in at a more aggressive price point, the Trail Runner brand is still loaded with popular features that RVers are looking for.”
Amenities include Beauflor linoleum, real-wood cabinet doors and drawers, full-extension ball bearing drawer guides, pocket-bored screwed cabinets, and radial tires with EZ-Lube hubs.
“I am thrilled with Heartland’s passion to be awesome in travel trailers,” said Eppert.
“The future is very bright for the Trail Runner brand and its dealers.”
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, Elk Ridge, Sundance, Greystone, North Trail, Prowler, Cyclone, Road Warrior, Wilderness, Torque, and Trail Runner.
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.
Address: 1001 All-Pro Drive, Elkhart, Indiana 46514
Phone: (574) 262-5992 or (888) 262-5992 (toll free)
Travel is the frivolous part of serious lives, and the serious part of frivolous ones.
—Anne Sophie Swetchine