Dealers enjoy dinner at the (Photo by Shawn Spence)

Dealers enjoy dinner at the Elkhart RV Open House (Photo by Shawn Spence)

The best of the recreational vehicle industry’s products went on display Monday (Sept. 19) for review by dealers from across North America, according to a Goshen News report. (To view a slideshow of the Open House scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page. Photos by Shawn Spence of RVBusiness magazine).

The 9th Annual RV Open House opened a day earlier than normal to accommodate dealers who had been showing up each year for sneak peeks. The show is for dealers only, who can view RV products at or near the factories where they are built and then pick out the ones they want to order.

Chari Frederickson of Dalton’s RV Center in Sheridan, Wyo., made the long drive east to see what’s new at the Forest River Inc. display at the company’s Dynamax complex along C.R. 6. “You try and look at what is going to be the biggest, hottest and best selling items for the next year. What floorplans your customers are asking for and touch base with the reps you have known forever,” she said.

Frederickson said RV sales are steady in her market, varying by just 10 units from last year at this time. And there is a slight shift in the demographics of her RV buyers.

“You are seeing a turn from the Baby Boomers who are retiring want a bigger trailer and to all those who are at the end of their Baby Boomer cycle. They want to downsize from a bigger one to a littler one,” she said. “It is fluctuating, really swinging.”

Forest River, owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., was showing a full lineup of products, from popup tent campers to the large, luxurious motorhomes.

The Open House has been an outstanding way to get new and updated RV products before dealers, according to Sales Manager Michael Peterson.

“The most important part of the show is to get all our dealers here in one place,” Peterson said.

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