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In a niche industry in which personalities and relationships count for a lot, Gary Denton is a fairly well known individual for having been part of a team that helped catapult Weekend Warrior Trailers Inc. into an over-the-top success in the SURV (Sport Utility RV) business before the Perris, Calif.-based company’s untimely demise in mid-2008.
So it was no surprise to find Denton – who gained a familiarity for toy haulers as an eight-time ATV champion on the American Motorcyclist Association racing circuit long before serving as vice president of sales and marketing for Warrior – promoting a new Stealth ramp trailer lineup for Forest River Inc. during December’s 46th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
Denton went to work for Elkhart, Ind.-based Forest River, operating out of a former Fleetwood plant in Rialto, Calif., about six months ago. His mission: To design and develop a new toy hauler brand for Forest River named after the Stealth Bomber.
The first wood-framed, aluminum-skinned units – all relatively lightweight and half-ton towable – were unveiled at RVIA’s fall retail show in Pomona, Calif., a lackluster event in terms of sales at which Denton sold 16 units.
“We started with an ultralight series, and I’m just building models and setting dealers, and it’s been really good,” Denton told RVBusiness after the Louisville Show. “One real plus is that Forest River has such a strong name and has buying power that’s allowed me to put a lot of features and benefits in the coach. And we’ve signed some of the biggest guns as dealers, including Giant RV, with their six stores, Pan-Pacific with their three stores, Travelon with four stores plus Nelson’s RV up in Idaho, Steve Casey’s in Colorado and Fraserway up in Canada. You know, the list goes on and on. It’s been really good.”
The initial 18- to 32-foot Stealth line features LED lighting, custom front caps and fender skirts, radius side molding and interiors with kitchen cabinet lighting, composite countertops, blow dryers, retractable shower doors and overhead pancake lights with stainless steel surrounds.
“You know, it’s loaded with features and benefits,” said Denton, adding that current plans call for extending the lengths on a subsequent wide-body lineup to 40 feet. “I have eight models right now and we’re building more prototypes as we speak and adding to the lineup.”
MSRP for an 18-footer: $19,800.