Tag Archives: lagrange

A Tour of Riverside RVs

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.

IMG_3270[1]

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.

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Cruiser RV Plans Production Increase

Howe, Indiana based Cruiser RV recently announced it’s expanding operations to a new facility in LaGrange, Indiana, which ultimately will create up to 200 additional jobs to a company currently employing 140, according to a report by kpcnews.com. Cruiser currently has the Shadow Cruiser, Fun Finder, and View Finder among their line-up.

 

“This is a very big step for us. We’re a family-owned company and are very conservative in what we do,” said Jeff Fought, president of Cruiser RV.

The company will invest more than $850,000 to lease a 140,000-square-foot LaGrange plant, add machinery for a new production line and make infrastructure improvements.

“We simply were busting at the seams in our current Howe facility and faced making a big decision,” Fought said. “We’ve been a single-plant organization since our inception, but we feel this is the logical next step for us. The LaGrange plant will give us the needed flexibility to expand our current product offering, while reducing our lead time during the peak selling season and improving overall product quality. We’re proud to be expanding in LaGrange County.”

The announcement by Cruiser is more validation the lightweight RV market continues to gain in popularity, as RV owners search for better fuel economy as gas prices increase. And it’s also good news for the entire Elkhart, Indiana area where the recession has hit the area hard.

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized