A couple of weeks ago I was able to get a tour set up of the Riverside RV factory in LaGrange, Indiana, thanks to a one of Riverside’s dealers, Austin Braun of Braun’s Fun Time Campers in Indianapolis.
I was interested in checking out their facilities for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve been following Riverside’s steady growth since I first found out about them at the RVIA trade show in 2011. The second reason has to do with an order I made for one of their teardrop trailers. I was hoping to see it in production, but it wasn’t slated to hit the assembly line until August 29. I’ll cover that in a future post, but here’s a sneak peek at what it’ll look like, as there was one on their lot awaiting a trip to a dealer in Sacramento.
My tour was led by Riverside sales manager Bob Taulbee. On the Friday I was up there, they had finished production for the week, so it was just about empty except for a handful of office personnel. Bob told me Riverside consists of about 50 employees, and about 45 of those are local Amish.
Despite the production having been wrapped up for the week, Bob told me that they’re producing about 40 units a week. That’s some pretty impressive output for a smaller independent RV manufacturer. Right now there are just under 600 Riverside Retros listed on rvtrader.com, so that’s pretty good coverage for anyone looking to buy one from any part of the country.
Ever since 2011 when I first laid eyes on a Retro 155, the quality has vastly improved. One aspect of that better quality is in some of the little things they do. One such example is in leak testing. Each unit that is produced spends about 5 minutes in the shower, where water soaks each trailer from various angles while one person inspects from inside.
When I brought up the topic about Little Guy soon reviving the Serro Scotty line, Bob made no bones about it. “We know they’ll be coming after us”. Despite their market share of retro style trailers facing this pending threat from the coming of Serro Scotty, Bob feels good about where they stand in the market and the continually growing base of Retro owners who seem to be quite satisfied camping in their Retros, according to some of the Riverside Facebook pages out there.
The back lot at the Riverside factory is a nice array of just about every model they have available. These are completed models awaiting shipment to dealers all across the country.
That includes even some of the newer models, such as the new Retro toy hauler that’s just coming out.
One last thing I was intrigued with during my visit there was a new project Riverside is coming out with that will debut in September. And that is a Retro fifth wheel. Granted, it doesn’t fit the criteria of a small trailer, but once I saw it, I was more than wowed by it. It’s the first prototype and was still a work in process when I saw it. They didn’t even know yet what it’ll weigh or the MSRP on it. However, it’ll have the same retro interior and graphics as their other models…plus baby moon hubcaps.
If you’d like to check out more of the Riverside Retro models, you can visit their website at http://riversidervs.net.
18 Responses to A Tour of Riverside RVs
I have retro 199 have not been able to camp in yet ,But love it!!
Love the new post on the Retro!!! Keep up the good work.. Keep the informative info coming!!! I wish they could make them with a bike receiver hitch in the back.. That would be perfect for all the RV’ers out there that like to travel with their bikes!!!
Love the article. Riverside Retros and Sero Scotty with Little Guy. These are the good ole days!
We just purchased a 195 and love it ! We are taking our first trip in 2 weeks.
Had our 195 aweek now and have gone over it with a fine tooth comb and so far I couldnt be happier . Cant wait for our first road trip in 2 weeks
I have had my red Retro 155 for two years and I love it so much! I’m a retired woman who camps alone and my little trailer is very easy to pull and set up. It could use more storage so I made a couple of modifications inside to create storage space. Since I am only 5 ft tall I don’t need the drop floor so I had a hatch cover made and now use that area for storage. Also a door cut/added to the wooden frame under the bench seat. And, of course, created my own 1950’s Hawaiiana decor. I never lack for company as people always come by to look it. Even in parking lots or rest areas I come back out to find visitors.
Awesome article! The fifth wheel retro is pretty neat.
Your fifth wheelers, Do they come in toyhaulers. And how much are they.Thank You.
We have our second retro199. They new unit has a slide which we live but it leaks around the slide out. Took it into the dealer and they fixed it under warranty but it still leaks. I can see daylight on the slide at the floor. Anyone else seeing this problem
LOVE the 265BHS but no dealerships in Maine.
My friend and I just got a used 2017 Mt McKinley Toy Hauler 19 feet with no proper manufacturer’s data. Cool little trailer. But we need specs for the electrical wiring. Seems to have a few issues killing the batteries quickly. The manufacturer has not been helpful with details over the phone. We need to know what the rig spec are to know if it is performing under par. It’s barely used and it is probable a simple connection issue but we need the schematic for the batteries, converter, etc. Can you help us? And also, is there a users group that we can join to share knowledge? Thank you.
Mike – If you are on Facebook, join this group: https://m.facebook.com/groups/664183020363385
I’m no electrical expert by any means, but “if” you’re running the fridge on battery, that will drain it in no time. As for contacting Riverside, I’ve heard the same complaints. However, be persistent there and keep trying. Hope this helps!
Is it possible for factory to do some small changes?
I like the 265 and would like to make bunk area into closet space. Also want to use my own small couch.
Can I order a retro 166 and pick it up myself at the factory?
You’d need to check with Riverside on that.
We bought ours the first week of May and only got to use it once and it leaked like a siv. They have been trying to repair it and get it right ever since. It is now the later part of September and camping season is over here! I am NOT impressed with them at all.
I am a Japanese RVer living in Japan and a regular visitor of your blog.
Bought a brand new 2017 retro 195 fell in love with the dinette and the colored (red and white) got a lot admiring looks and comments . However we had nothing but trouble with it . So sad. First our tongue jack went within the first year and a half. The seal on the awning where the wires go into camper we’re never caulked so leaked and caused damage to inside storage compartment. Where the gutters run off is basically into the storage compartments so beware. Another weird design flaw is if you have awning open you cannot hook front door open. Bad planning. Who puts the outside shower in the front ? If you have a carpet or cooking stuff in the front that would get soaked. We had a leak somewhere in the back near the bed checked all seals and could not find it . Caused black mold and floor rot. Extremely disappointed and would never buy from this company again . Oh yeah and furnace just crapped out last camping trip. Not smooth sailing from the beginning, stress every camping trip.