February '20

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16 • RV PRO • February 2020 rv-pro.com struction and we morphed that into our laminate (Alta) brand. We want to continue morphing that as we grow in the future. Some of the key features that we like to do standard include a king bed, where applicable; finished, pass-through storage; a lot of storage on roller guides under dinettes, where applicable; and the largest air conditioning and heating units in all of our units (35,000 BTU furnaces and 15,000 BTU AC unit). "With the Alta in particular, we're using Azdel sidewalls and a 5-inch vacuum-bonded roof, so that's a selling feature for us," Rees says. "We're doing aluminum-cage support for roofs and all windows and doors, Norco drop frame, electric stabilization jacks, aluminum rims, tinted windows, electric power tongue jacks, 5/8-inch tongue and groove plywood floors and magnetic baggage slam doors. We offer a lot of features others don't offer at this price point." Meanwhile, "We have found that trying to make features standard and keeping simple floorplans with one décor has really worked well for us, our customers and sales guys," she adds. There are a few upgrades, such as a second AC unit, a MORryde step and a queen bed option (instead of a king- size bed, for RVers who want more walk-around room). Both brands have an Extended Climate Guard Package with heated underbelly and better insulation that turns the brands into four-season coaches. The Azdel composites are designed to be 50 percent lighter than standard wood and prevent delamination, mold and mildew. "I hope over time it adds value to our trailers," Rees says. The Alta 2810 KIK (king bed, island kitchen), 2600 KRB (king bed, rear bath) and 2100 MBH (Murphy bed, bunkhouse) floorplans have garnered the most attention thus far, according to Rees. For 2020, East to West revamped the exterior and interior graphics on the Della Terra, which dealers say is a 100 percent improvement, as the product better meets the changing needs of the consumer, Rees says. MSRPs range from $19,900 to $33,800 for the Della Terra and from $26,800 to $39,600 for the Alta. All finished units are transported to Forest River's main PDI facility in Goshen, Ind. Rees says she hopes to eventually have her own PDI facility onsite. Meanwhile, a steady stream of orders allowed East to West to grow to 170 employees by year-end and jump-started plans to build a fifth 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility this year to accommodate a new fifth wheel brand, details of which are under wraps for now. Additional Staffing Includes Key Hires Rees may be the face of East to West, but she credits Eric Sharp, co-GM and partner, for making the company "the best we can be. He's one of those guys that doesn't get much recognition because people don't realize all the work and effort he's done at Forest River," she says. Sharp has worked with Rees's father, Pete Liegl, for more than 30 years and helped found and direct several Forest River brands, including Salem, Cardinal and Wildwood. Sharp "is the best partner I could ever have," Rees says. "We love working together. I've told him he better not retire anytime soon because we've got a lot of things to do still!" In recent months, new additions to the East to West manage- ment staff include: • Todd Grubb, sales manager for Alta • Tim Kauffman and Kevin Downey, Alta sales reps Above: Rick Borkowski scrubs roofing material that's been freshly installed on an East to West trailer. At right: Tarrance Peoples (left) stops his forklift to confer with Tom Albert, holding a clipboard.

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