June '21

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16 • RV PRO • June 2021 rv-pro.com "In the past year, we've added two new production lines occupying a total of 120,000 square feet of space to help us keep up with the growing demand for our travel trailers," he says, adding that the company was able to accomplish that by converting an area that was formerly warehouse and maintenance space. Gulf Stream has concentrated on the stick-and-tin trailer market for years. "I think we're in a perfect position right now where we build the perfect conventional trailer with the right content and upgraded value for today's buyer," Sarvari says. "We see a lot of our compet- itors adding a lot of content to their conventional trailers, such as power jacks and bike racks. I just think that drives up the cost and at the end of the day, I don't believe the consumer wants to pay for that, so we kind of go a little bit against the trend of some of our competitors, only because we want to offer the best value at the best price." In addition to new floorplans, the company updated both interior and exterior looks across all its brand lines for 2021, building upon a revamping of its interior decors in its 2019 trailer models. The new look features lighter colors, silvers and warm grays, with less emphasis on decoration and more on decor. The color palette emphasizes the Gulf Stream blue, black and white. Retail prices for stick-and-tin lineup range from $14,000 to $35,000 and from $17,000 to $45,000 for laminated models. "We've always believed the conventional trailer has to look good, have the right features, and has to be at an affordable price," Sarvari says. "It goes back to 'over-contenting' as opposed to saying 'de-contenting.' I don't believe any other manufacturer does the steel slide-room headers that we put in and the steel hurricane straps that tie the walls to the floor and the walls to the roof." Shea also touts Gulf Stream's use of a one-piece floor, which flexes rather than squeaks as the unit goes down the road. "Our focus a lot of times is having the best equipped unit – not necessarily the most equipment," he says. "A lot of times, we think other builders maybe add too much equipment that the customer really doesn't want, and it drives up the weight of the unit, and also the cost. It's working to define what that consumer really wants, really needs, at an overall price point that makes sense to that consumer." Meanwhile, with wholesale commodity prices increasing since the pandemic began, Gulf Stream – like all other OEMs – is mindful of how passing along price hikes may impact dealers and Scott Pullin (left), vice president of operations, who helped design and build the first Gulf Stream Coach motorhome 38 years ago, discusses production scheduling with Bill Warrick, motorhome plant manager and 34-year Gulf Stream Coach veteran. Gulf Stream has many long-term staffers in its employ. (In the background, Diane Carey, final finish lead, checks specifications of a recently finished BT Cruiser.) Pictured here are just some of the awards Gulf Stream has received over the years, including multiple RVDA Quality Awards for the years 2014 through 2018, multiple Vincennes University Quality and Productivity gold and platinum awards for the years 2005 through 2010, multiple Ford QVM (quality vehicle modifier) awards and a Governor's Award for recycling.

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