> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

The Recreational Dealers Exchange Co. (REDEX) is planning to place an initial order for 100 of the new private-label “Venetian Suites” fifth-wheel trailers to be built starting this summer by Potomac RV LLC, Elkhart, Ind.
“Potomac is geared up to be delivering by Aug. 1,” said Paul Skogebo, president of Robert Crist & Co. RV, Mesa, Ariz., and president of REDEX. “They’ve added another plant to build these.”
REDEX, managed by Wheeler Marketing Service Inc., Arlington, Texas, is a consortium of 50 dealers who operate about 95 stores in 36 states. Collectively, REDEX stores expect to do about $2 billion in sales in 2005.
Skogebo said orders for the first run of Venetian Suites fifth-wheels will be made following the April 26 REDEX dealers meeting at the Arizona Biltmore Resort, Phoenix, Ariz.
“We had about 25 dealers who were ready to sign up for the coach, but some of the others wanted to see it first,” Skogebo said. “We’ll show it to them at the dealer meeting and then we’ll take orders.”
Earlier, Skogebo said that participation by half of REDEX members would make the private-label venture sound.
Venetian Suites fifth-wheels will be available in four 34- to 38-foot floorplans with three or four slideout rooms, and will retail for a base price of around $60,000, Skogebo said.
“With the research that we’ve done, we expect the 36-footer to be the most popular,” Skogebo said.
In a press release, Jim Johnson, Potomac president and CEO, called the joint venture “an absolute win for both REDEX and Potomac.”
He stressed that the Venetian Suites brand will not compete with the company’s Potomac and Liberty brands. “This product does not compete with anything that we currently build,” Johnson said. “We do not clone any products, so this will be truly a REDEX unit.”