Creating a Cohesive Story

How Genesis Products consults with OEMs and brings all of the components of an RV unit together.

Q: What is Genesis Products known for and what are consumers looking for now?


Erin Curtis, Vice President of Marketing and Development: Genesis Products supplies almost any laminate interior component that goes inside of a coach from cabinets and cabinet doors to countertops and backsplashes to moldings and trim and step treads. Basically, anything that isn’t furniture or isn’t plumbing.

What we’ve really been seeing from a consumer standpoint is a desire for a more cohesive look and feel between components, so having a cohesive color story and thoughtful design, not just aesthetically but also in terms of functionality, which as you can imagine in an RV space is very important. There’s a focus on solutions that we can provide that provides an innovative way to use space or to conserve space. So for us that might look like curved edges on cabinetry or divider walls. It might look like more innovative engineering in the storage space. We’re eliminating any dead space in the unit.

Another thing that we get very excited about is the opportunity to bring new materials into the space. Those are materials that help the unit be more lightweight. It could be using PET instead of traditional wood. Or it could be using foam-based materials as we did in the Winnebago electric unit. Or it could be about using more sustainable materials as well, whether that’s using more MDF in a unit, or more sustainably sourced plywood versus hardwood.

PET is also sustainable – it’s made of up to 50% recycled water bottles. Sustainability is something that we see especially our younger consumers being more and more aware of and wanting more, especially those who are attracted to the RV lifestyle. Enjoying nature and preserving nature is a very important part of that experience.

Q: How does Genesis Products work with the OEMs to determine materials they want to use and how are you encouraging them to take a chance on some of those new materials?


Nic Bontrager, Product Manager: We walk a customer through the entire color story because not only are we talking through that, we’re also thinking about the functionality and the construction aspect of it. We try to go from the beginning stages all the way out to the end stages of the actual construction material – that one stop shop, if you will – and understanding what materials work best, whether it be at substrates, whether it be at films, you name it. We try to make sure we follow the whole process all the way through. We try to make sure that it’s a holistic approach. Let’s look at every aspect of it because so many times you have to stop and say, I picked a wood grain, now I need to go to my cabinet manufacturer to have that wood grain matched to a hardwood.

Curtis: I think to Nic’s point, too, we can meet customers at wherever they are. Some customers have a very clear picture of what they want their color story to be. And in that case, it’s great – let us source the right materials for you. Others might come to us and not know, and they might want inspiration, they might want input from us to help guide the color story. So, we can be as consultative and collaborative as the customer needs.

Bontrager: Also, sometimes they don’t know what the material can actually do. So, there’s a lot of situations like floating shelves and really cool, unique backsplashes, main feature walls, you name it. We can do a lot of different things with it and we strive to be the experts in the knowledge of the material,.

Q: When it comes to some of the trends that you are seeing for RVs, what are people looking for now? I’ve noticed people seem to be moving away from all the bright whites. Can you talk to me about the demographics part of design choices, too?

Bontrager: If you have a very typical buyer, I’m going to use very traditional colors. And then you have the new buyers that are coming in that want a little bit more pizazz, a little more going on in the unit, which also then relates to a lot of the other materials that we work with and the other stylings and offerings that we can provide because those go hand in hand. The younger buyer might be more open to a more contemporary look and feel, not only with the colors, but also with the door stylings, with the overall layout of the unit. So, it’s taking both approaches. We look at it from the bread-and-butter customer and then the new hotness with the new buyers. There’s a couple different lanes to go, for sure.

Curtis: I think you’re exactly right about a movement away from the bright whites and into a warmer, cream space. A lot of lighter wood grains, often accented by maybe a charcoal or a matte charcoal color. We saw a lot of that at the caravan show that we just came back from while we were in Europe. So, lots of very light wood grains with cream and charcoal accents seemed to be pretty dominant. And then from a finishes perspective, super matte finishes were very popular there. We even saw embossed finishes that were made to look like leather or were made to look like linen.

Bontrager: A lot more solid colors [that] had other accents going on with it that were more texturized or gradient in a way. It was really more than just your typical white cabinets.

Q: When it comes to the materials you use, tell me more about durability.

Bontrager: I think when you’re looking at the finishes that we work with, we work with any laminate option. That’s one unique thing that Genesis offers versus any other laminator in the RV space is we work with everything from papers and vinyls to HPL and TFL. The breadth of options are well within our wheelhouse, so we know [how] to match the right material to the right application. We have some customers that demand a higher quality of finished products and maybe HPL is the right answer – it’s the most expensive [and] probably the most durable. And then you have customers that might be a little bit cost focused, where we can still take a paper, but we look at the features of the paper, the movement of the paper, the top coating of the paper to help align with the customer’s expectation of what they should expect in the plant. Because the last thing we want [is] a cabinet door or whatever showing up and it scratches easy or it has some other defect or flaw in it that they find completely unappealing.

Curtis: Laminates have a lot of advantages in that way. They’re very easy to clean and care for. They resist scratches and stains, and they’re easy to wipe clean for the end user. But as Nic was just describing, we can also match laminates across the different materials. So, where maybe in one application an HPL is more appropriate, and a paper would do just fine in another, we can create that cohesive color story while being as efficient as possible with the materials that we’re using and being conscious of our customer’s goals.

What is REVIVE?

Genesis Products has entered the aftermarket with a new way to freshen up RV cabinets and walls for a new look. The REVIVE Collection features wallboard, ceiling and cabinet kits that allow customers to reface existing surfaces in their unit. The kits come in 2-foot by 50-foot or 2-foot by 100-foot rolls with matching seam tape, putty knife and microfiber cloth. The kits were initially launched at Camping World in May and are now available to all dealers. The collection also includes lightweight backsplash options and cabinet hardware. For more information, visit genesisproductsinc.com/products/revive.

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