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Pictured above left to right: Bob Livingston, Publisher, Trailer Life; Aram Koltookian, group general manager, Keystone RV; Mike Mack, Montana product manager; and Stuart Bourdon, Editor, Trailer Life (Photo Supplied) (AP)
Elkhart County companies score well with Trailer Life readers

Posted on Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — Several Elkhart County companies and locally made products won in Trailer Life magazine’s inaugural “Readers’ Choice” awards.

The Goshen-built Montana model by Keystone topped out as the No. 1 fifth-wheel RV after votes by thousands of Trailer Life readers.

According to Keystone, Montana has been the top-retailing fifth-wheel over the past 11 years, based on Statistical Surveys Inc. data.

In an announcement by Keystone, Trailer Life group publisher Bob Livingston described the typical Trailer Life reader as a sophisticated buyer, many of them having owned two or more RVs. “Our readers know what they like and what accessories and services enhance their lifestyle,” he said. “Kudos to Montana for earning this demanding group’s endorsement.”

According to Keystone group general manager Aram Koltookian, Montana has strived to develop close ties with the RV consumer throughout the brand’s 15 year history. “We focus on listening to our customers and continuously improving our product,” said Koltookian in an announcement of Keystone’s win. “Many of the features you find in today’s Montana are the result of staying close to the customer.

“In addition, our emphasis on practical innovation has pushed the brand to the cutting edge of luxury fifth wheel design,” he said.

The magazine’s winners with local ties are:

Ÿ Fifth wheel trailer: Behind Keystone’s first-place finish, Forest River took second and Jayco took third.

Ÿ Travel trailer: Jayco placed first, Forest River placed second.

Ÿ Folding camper: Jayco took first place, with Starcraft RV (a Jayco brand) taking second.

Ÿ Travel trailer hitch: Reese got third place.

Ÿ Fifth-wheel hitch: Reese took first place, and Mishawaka-based PullRite took third.

Ÿ RV toilet: Thetford took first place, while Dometic’s SeaLand got second place.

Ÿ Refrigerator: Dometic took first place, with Thetford’s Norcold coming in second.

Ÿ Awning: Dometic took second place.

The prominence of companies with local ties on the list is due in large part to the central role Elkhart County plays in the RV industry.