September '19

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116 • RV PRO • September 2019 rv-pro.com A F T E R M A R K E T T hetford Corp. has made a science of developing new RV care products. Perhaps the most obvious example of that is the company employs a team of chemists whose job it is to create and test a variety of RV cleaners and holding tank products that the sup- plier sells. Thetford's focus on product devel- o p m e n t i s l o n g s t a n d i n g a n d h a s resulted in a number of industry firsts since its founding in 1963, according to Andy Bialorucki, Thetford director of marketing and aftermarket sales in North America. A few examples of that touted by Thetford include the first slide-action valve for RV holding tanks (1963); the first low-water-use RV toilet (1966); and the first concentrated RV holding tank deodorant, Aqua-Kem (1967). "One of the first products the com- pany made was a waste valve that goes on the end of a holding tank. That really is what brought us into the sanitation cat- egory," says Bialorucki, who has worked with the company since 1998. "That quickly led to us offering holding tank deodorants, specialized toilet tissue, and of course, making the toilets themselves." Already a leader in RV toilets and holding tank technology, in 1997 Thet- ford acquired RV refrigerator manu- facturer Norcold, and four years ago brought ProtectAll cleaners under the company umbrella. And the privately-owned company continues to grow, Bialorucki says. "We're growing in terms of revenue. We're growing in terms of adding new products to our line. We're also growing by way of acquisition," he says. Thetford and Norcold have about 600 employees in North America, he says, and roughly the same number in Europe and the rest of the world. The company's head- quarters is in Ann Arbor, Mich., but it has facilities in Europe and Asia. Top-sellers among Thetford's RV care line include its black streak and bug remover, awning cleaner and the rubber roof cleaner and conditioner. Thetford Cleans Up Nicely The company is a leader in RV care products thanks to its strong focus on R&D, its use of consumer feedback to improve its offerings, and its support for RV retailers. By Craig Young

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