September '18

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88 • RV PRO • September 2018 rv-pro.com R V M A N U F A C T U R E R S INDIANAPOLIS – As Jayco dealers rolled into the Indianap- olis Convention Center in mid-August, they could have been forgiven if their minds were elsewhere. After all, with government tariffs threatening to make a dent in what has been a profitable industry for the past several years, and with RV shipments sharply down over the previous two months, there are some concerns that the boom times may be slowing. But these dealers had more to celebrate than to worry about as they shared the 50th anniversary festivities with the manufacturer. President Derald Bontrager reminisced about his father's founding of the company, noting that the original, similar annual gathering in 1969 was a potluck carry-in dinner with the staff and some of the early Jayco dealers. "I continue to believe the future is bright for the RV industry," Bontrager said. "We continue to see the average age of the RV consumer continue to decline. This is encouraging for the future of our industry." The newly minted models on display at the Convention Center reflected the tastes of those younger customers in many cases. From the tiny Hummingbird 10RK, which is designed to compete with some of the trendier independent manufacturers, to some of the Jay Feather trailers with Murphy beds and bunk beds to make the most of sleeping areas, features that will appeal to the younger crowd filled the aisles. Jayco celebrates its 50th anniversary by unveiling 2019 models and new quality control initiatives. By Travis O. Pryor Golden & Still Going Strong Bertha Bontrager and Derald Bontrager (right) celebrate with members of the team from Town & Country RV Center in Clyde, Ohio, after the dealership was honored with the Founders Award, given to the Jayco dealer that represents the company's ideals and is loyal to the Jayco brand.

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