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At this time next week, armies of RV dealers will converge on Indiana’s Elkhart County for what’s become one of the nation’s biggest RV shows.

This show isn’t for shoppers — it’s for retailers, giving manufacturers a chance to show them floorplans for next year’s new models, elicit dealer feedback on prototypes and write orders that will guide the production that employs up to 30,000 people in Elkhart County.

As reported by the Elkhart Truth, this year’s seventh annual RV Open House Week, set to run Sept. 16-18, was started by Forest River Inc. in 2007 in an attempt to say “thank you” to dealers, at a time when the industry was heading into a downturn brought on by the recession of 2008-2009.

The industry is in a far better place today, with shipments to dealers on track to hit 350,000 units by year’s end, more than double the low of 165,700 units in 2009.

Other manufacturers have since joined Forest River in hosting dealers from around the nation.

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