American companies entice European caravaners

By Greg Gerber

While  walking the show floor at Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf, Germany, last weekend, I was taken aback by the number of companies active in the U.S. RV industry that were exhibiting products to the European community.

Granted, several of the companies that U.S. dealers and consumers see at trade shows are, in fact, headquartered in Europe. But, it was still fun to see a glimpse of home while participating in an overseas show.

For future shows, perhaps the American RV industry should consider renting a portion of one of the halls to consolidate all the displays in one location truly showcasing American ingenuity.

High-tech TVs and other mobile entertainment products were on display at the Furion Display. The products were tested and designed at the new technology center in Elkhart close to the RV/MH Hall of Fame.


Rubber seals and trim are needed worldwide, so Trim-Lok offers Caravan Salon guests a glimpse at what it manufacturers.


Except for the German signage, the Dometic display at Caravan Salon looked no different than a typical display at U.S. RV and trade shows. The firm offered everything from appliances to chemicals.


Awnings were the focus of the Carefree of Colorado display. While most caravans include some type of awnings, many of the products exhibited by European suppliers showcased enclosed awnings.


Already boasting a hefty percentage of components on every U.S. recreation vehicle, Lippert had a large display seeing to entice European manufacturers to include LCI components in caravans.


Truma, which has been making tremendous inroads in the U.S. market in recent years, is actually headquartered in Germany. Hint: the company offers a much wider product range in Europe than it currently does in America.


Thetford Corporation set out to prove it could be No. 1 in the No. 2 business worldwide.


Hella was hoping to encourage caravaners and manufacturers to “see the light” with its 360-vision technology.


Al-Ko is a German company, but it was nice to see familiar trailer component products on display — and people interested in learning more about them.
Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber

A journalist who has covered the recreation vehicle industry since January 2000, Greg Gerber founded RV Daily Report on April Fool's Day in 2009. He also serves as the editor of the publication and website. As an Eagle Scout, he has enjoyed camping for decades and has visited every state except Hawaii. A DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three young women, he has two grandchildren as well. He currently splits his time between Wisconsin, Texas and Arizona. Greg can be reached at

Leave a Comment

  • John K says:

    I had a good afternoon laugh out of this one. Lippert and Furrion in Germany?……..That’s a good one ROFLMAO.

  • Tom Boles says:

    Well, it’s only components we are talking about. Some Furion parts *might* fit in to the european design ethic, but quality will be the aspect that makes or breaks their business. Lippert might be another thing entirely. The other “US” manufacturers shown in the story, Carefree and Trim-loc are pretty straightforward in their designs and so can probably do well.

    US RV design, with all the dark interiors and cheezy colors and patterns will have a tough time in the european market. The build quality of US rigs will have Europeans turning up their noses the first glance they get.

    Better stay at the component level, and the simpler the better. I am with John K in this!

  • Robert Friendly says:

    Better yet.

    Bring Compatible European Components over here.

    And European Motorhomes and Trailers and Styling.

    Let’s face it.. American RV’s and Components are Marginal at Best!

    What a joke.

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