RV industry veteran Denny Bailey now is general manager of Forest River Inc.’s new Surveyor Division in Goshen, Ind., the company announced.
Bailey, most recently the vice president of sales and marketing at Warsaw, Ind.-based R-Vision Inc., joined Forest River, now headquartered in Elkhart, Ind., late last year.
Many in the industry credit Bailey with creating the “expandable” or “hybrid” travel trailer about five years ago, a product category which, in the view of many consumers, is an attractive substitute for traditional folding campers. He now runs Surveyor, a manufacturer of light-weight towable and downsized motorized products located in a part of the former Starcraft Corp. van-conversion facilities in Goshen.
Surveyor started production in early October building towables compatible with sport utility vehicles and even lighter tow vehicles, Bailey said. Much of the new Surveyor line is in the under 4,500-pound segment, and many of the new aluminum-framed, laminate fiberglass models are in the under 25-foot category. The largest Surveyor towable to date is a 30-foot, single-slide travel trailer.
On the motorized side, Surveyor has launched the M-B Cruiser touring vehicle, which is built on the Sprinter van chassis that DaimlerChrysler’s Freightliner subsidiary assembles in South Carolina. It uses components built by DaimlerChrysler’s Mercedes-Benz subsidiary in Germany.
M-B Cruiser is a fuel-efficient, $50,000 B-van to which Surveyor adds a fiberglass rear cap, rear dry bath, two-person dinette and other interior accouterments.
Bailey, who expects to add fifth-wheels by this fall, says the Surveyor lineup was well accepted by retail dealerships during its Louisville trade show debut in December. “I think back to all  the shows I’ve been in,” Bailey said, “and it was the best show I’ve ever been a part of.”