Lippert Components, a subsidiary of Drew Industries Inc. plans to have a 50,000-square-foot expansion of its travel trailer and fifth-wheel chassis assembly plant near Middlebury Ind., completed in four to six months, President and CEO Jason Lippert said.
The addition is being built on to Lippert’s existing 80,000-square-foot plant, which is north of Middlebury and next to the two towable RV assembly plants that Coachmen Industries Inc. is in the process of buying from Jayco Inc.
Lippert’s plant north of Middlebury currently produces 550 to 600 travel-trailer-fifth-wheel frames per day, and it will be able to produce 100 more per day once the expansion is completed, Lippert said.
The expansion also will allow Lippert to add a third powder-coat facility in Middlebury.
Separately, Lippert took the first steps earlier this week toward getting approvals from officials in Milford, Ind., to build a boat-trailer assembly plant in that community, Lippert said.
The decision to build a boat-trailer plant in Indiana comes after Drew’s recent acquisition of California-based towable RV chassis, boat and specialty trailer builder Zieman Manufacturing Co., Lippert said.
Zieman has three towable RV chassis assembly plants along the West Coast and its biggest accounts in the towable RV sector are Weekend Warrior and Skyline, Lippert said.
Lippert will close its towable RV chassis plant in Portland, Ore., because the nearby Zieman plant makes that facility redundant. Consequently, the Zieman acquisition provides Lippert with two more West Coast towable RV chassis plants.
Zieman’s five other West Coast factories produce non-RV products, Lippert said.
Zieman’s principals, John Pollara and Eric Day, agreed to join the Lippert Components management team, Lippert said.