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A drive near the RV/MH Hall of Fame and C.R. 6 in Elkhart, Ind., may give a passer-by the impression that something big is about to happen. Thousands of recreational vehicles line the corridor and Hall of Fame grounds in anticipation of the upcoming RV Open House Show.

As reported by the Elkhart Truth, the event, which is expected to bring more than 4,000 dealers to Elkhart, runs today (Sept. 22) through Thursday, with some manufacturers setting up displays near C.R. 17 and C.R. 6.

Bob Martin, president and CEO of Thor Industries, gives full credit to Forest River Inc. for envisioning the event.

It started in 2007 as a way for Forest River to thank dealers for their business and give them a preview of what the business’ next products will be. Over the years, other RV makers have joined Forest River in coordinating for the three-day event.

And the list of displays keeps getting bigger. This year TRA Certification, an internationally accredited certification organization that specializes in green building and energy efficiency programs, will have a display at the RV Hall of Fame for the first time. 

Mandy Leazenby, green program manager at TRA, said this is a good way for dealers to learn about green building. 

Thor has been setting up its displays at the RV Hall of Fame over the last four years.

Just outside the RV/MH Hall of Fame on Friday, Jeff Tryka, director of corporate development and investor relations at Thor, held several maps as he walked alongside hundreds of recreation vehicles parked on the grounds.

Hundreds is not an exaggeration. Thor, in preparation for the RV Open House, brought more than 500 units from all its different subsidiaries. The company is expecting about 2,000 dealers from all over North America.

By comparison, Thor takes about 200 units to the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., the largest show hosted by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

Martin said that’s because their setup location in Elkhart is much larger and they don’t have to move the units as a far as they would for Louisville.

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