Indiana rules the road with RVs - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Indiana rules the road with RVs

The Hoosier State is responsible for more than 80 percent of all RVs built in America. (Source: WAVE 3 News) The Hoosier State is responsible for more than 80 percent of all RVs built in America. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE,KY (WAVE) - If you pass an RV on the highway, you might wonder where someone is going on vacation. But thousands of workers in Indiana don’t care. They are just happy another RV is rolling down the road.

About 435,000 motor homes and towables will be ordered by dealers in 2017, according to the RV show for retailers this week in Louisville.

Orders for RVs have never been higher. The Hoosier State is responsible for more than 80 percent of all RVs built in America. Manufacturing jobs are flourishing in Elkhart and other parts of Northern Indiana.

“We went from one of the highest unemployment rates to one of the lowest unemployment rates,” Jon Krider of Thor Industries said.

Employment for Thor has jumped from about 500, five years ago, to more than 2,000 today.

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Krider said Generation X’ers have joined Baby Boomers in RV showrooms. While some manufacturers make models that sell for more than $600,000, the top sellers now are between $60,000 and $100,000.

“With all the uncertainty overseas, it makes sense to have your home on wheels and see the 3,000 miles coast to coast right here in the United States,” Krider said.

He has seen many people buy motor homes who’ve been typically taking the same vacation over and over to Mexico or Florida. Krider said Thor’s stock has taken a big jump in recent weeks as more Americans seem ready to go RVing.

It’s a huge success story for American manufacturing, for Indiana, and for Elkhart, where network news crews camped out to show how the recession had
devastated the city. Now its economy is rolling along like a motor home. Just one problem. Building enough of them in time to fill the dealer’s orders for their showrooms during the high season for sales after the New Year.

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