Northwood Manufacturing Inc., Oregon-based builder of the Nash, Arctic Fox and Desert Fox brands of towable RVs, has purchased the former Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. towable RV assembly plant in Winchester, Va., according to Ron Nash, CEO.

The Winchester facility was one of three RV factories Fleetwood closed last month.

Northwood paid $2.4 million for the real estate in Virginia, which included two production plants encompassing 117,000 square feet of manufacturing space, Nash said.

Fleetwood closed the Winchester operation “a couple of weeks ago,” and Nash hopes to resume production in Winchester in about 60 days.

Fleetwood employed 250 people in Winchester and Nash said he has received applications from about 100 former Fleetwood hourly employees.

Under the new ownership, the Winchester facility will have the capacity to produce 4,500 units a year, which would equal the capacity at Northwood’s complex in La Grande, Ore., once an expansion is completed there.

Northwood plans to have a 50,000-square-foot addition in La Grande completed in about three weeks, Nash said. The company will have 170,000 square feet of space in La Grande once the expansion is completed.

Nash decided to buy the property in Virginia because his company currently does not supply any dealers east of the Mississippi River because of freight costs.

Although many RV manufacturers and dealers are struggling with slow sales, Nash said his 7-year-old firm had its highest sales volume quarter during the February-through-April period.

Northwood ranked 14th among manufacturers of travel trailers and 16th in fifth-wheels during 2000, according to Statistical Surveys Inc. The company retailed 1,546 travel trailers and 841 fifth-wheels last year.