One of the nation’s newest RV manufacturers, North American Traveler LLC, was incorporated in August and plans on ramping up production in October of mid-profile travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers under the Glacier Bay brand name.
Eric Tesman, formerly with SunnyBrook RV, is majority owner of the new company, which is operating from a 52,000-square-foot leased facility in Elkhart, Ind. Among the minority owners are Bill Humphrey, vice president of administration and another former SunnyBrook executive, and Stan Imboden, owner of a Kansas trucking company, along with five unnamed RV dealers. Other key employees include former Carriage Inc. personnel Mel Mattix, director of purchasing, and Jerry Jantzi, production manager.
Tesman, 37, who most recently served as a product manager for SunnyBrook, planned to begin production with approximately 45 workers and an initial production target of up to three units per day by year end. He said the company has already assembled a dealer body of approximately 80 retailers and had more than 260 orders in hand before production started.
Humphrey, who was the controller at SunnyBrook, figures the break-even point for the new company is 30 units per month.
Glacier Bay towables will range in length from 25 to 34 feet, the longest units with quad-slides, and will retail from $25,500 and $40,000. Tesman said the fiberglass-and-aluminum Glacier Bay is positioned to be a mid-priced coach with high-end components, such as Samsung LCD TVs, Sony stereos and GE or Amana over-the-range microwave ovens.
While the company won’t have units on display at RVIA’s National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., in late November, Tesman hopes to have a display model at a Louisville-area hotel during the show.