ELKHART, Ind. – The two biggest players in the RV industry got their Open House Week Extravaganza exhibits going full swing a day earlier than traditionally on Monday, as dealers from around the country flocked to Forest River’s Dynamax plant and Thor Industries’ display at the RV/MH Hall of Fame.
The past couple of years, OEM and aftermarket suppliers in the Elkhart area had begun taking advantage of having the crowd arriving a day early by having Monday events of their own, including an event attended by about 100 people at the Dometic facility.
Dometic Vice President of OEM Sales Dave Schutz said the supplier may have to rethink those plans for the next year if manufacturers continue the trend, as Dometic doesn’t want to interfere with the manufacturers’ events or detract from the main reason dealers are coming to Elkhart.
Manufacturers are hosting a variety of special events and giveaways this week in an effort not only to bring dealers to their displays but to keep them on hand throughout the week.
Perhaps the most exciting giveaway is a special drawing Thor is hosting. The RV maker – which recently gained a dominant overall lead as the No. 1 manufacturer when it acquired Jayco – is holding a grand prize car raffle from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The winner of the raffle has the choice of an Audi sedan, Cadillac sedan, Ford F-150 or Mercedes-Benz SUV. The raffle is open to all current Thor dealers in good standing, with a cash option available. Dealers must be present at the time of the drawing to win.
Later Monday evening, Grand Design hosted a double-billed concert for its dealers at Bar Louie in South Bend.
The band Foghat performed an early set, followed by a lengthy set by former Eagles guitarist Don Felder, who played a long string of hits from the popular 1970s rock group. The bar was packed with at least 200 people dancing, eating and generally enjoying themselves.