ELKHART — The City with a Heart is the hub of some serious RV business this week as both Thor and Forest River host their annual dealer shows.
“This is the event where the dealers make their buying decisions,” said Bob Dumm, general manager at Coachmen RV.
As a division of Forest River, Coachmen RV, along with Dynamax, Palomino, Prime Time and Shasta, will be seen all week at East to West RV, while Thor Industries’ lineup, including Airstream, Thor Motorcoach, Heartland RV, Intregra Coach, Keystone RV, Crossroads RV and Dutchman, will be found at the RV Hall of Fame.
“It’s the first time that the entire Thor family has been in one place ever,” Thor senior marketing director Renee Jones said.
The Thor Dealer Open House also marks the first time Erwin Hymer Group is at the event, a brand available only in Europe.
Thor Community partners, the National Forest Foundation, First Descents and KOA Care Camps, are also on site to teach more about the services they offer as part of Thor’s 10th annual showcase.
In celebration of the milestone, the business hired noted country singer Keith Urban to perform Tuesday night.
For the 12th annual Forest River Product Expo, the company brought in rock band Styx and country artists Big & Rich.
Also on site at Thor’s event, serving up barbeque in front of the new pavilion, are special food vendors Myron Mixon and Henry Bateman from Pit Masters. Both locations are hosting giveaways and prizes including free RVs and service vehicles for their dealers.
“It’s a matter of rekindling relationships and keeping those strong relationships with dealers,” Dumm said. “With (the Louisville expo) no longer in existence, this is our primary show to get the dealers in and get a look at what our latest and greatest and newest products are.”
Combined, the two companies represent more than 80 percent of the industry’s annual retail sales, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.
Pavilion named in honor of Thor co-founder