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Dutchmen covers all the bases

By Chuck Woodbury, editor
Beginners Guide to RVing

Dutchmen is one of the best known names of RVs, even though the company is just entering its teen years. What began as a manufacturer of travel trailers has grown to include fifth wheels, pop up trailers and motorhomes and other camper vehicles.

The Dutchman Classic travel trailer.
The company was founded in 1989 by Elkhark, Ind., businessman David Hoefer. His idea was to produce a line of RVs with only a limited number of floorplans and options. The idea was a hit, and the company was soon off and running.

Two years later, Hoefer's company was acquired by Thor, now one of the largest brands of conventional and fifth wheel travel trailers. The following year, Thor acquired Four Winds International, a manufacturer of class A and C motorhomes. Komfort, a maker of fifth-wheel and conventional travel trailers, and Skamper, a builder of folding camping trailers, became members of the Thor family in 1995.

Today, the Dutchmen name is among the most recognized b
The Dutchman Express Class C motorhome.
y consumers.

Among the Dutchman Manufacturing's newest entries is the Sport/Four Winds Express, which reflects the company's founding idea of simplicity. Seven trailer and three fifth wheel models come in lengths of 19 to 31 feet with only ten floor plans. They retail between $9,800 and $15,400. A $1,900 option package includes a 13,000 BTY air conditioner, A&E awning, 30 pound LP gas bottles with covers, AM/FM stereo system, TV antenna, stove cover, three-burner range with oven and microwave So even with the option package, the price of the units is affordable.

The company believes that most RVers are age 30-50 and use their RVs during the summer season. They believe that these people do not need or want an expensive RV costing $20,000 to $30,000.

The company aims at a wide varietyof customers with a wide range of RV
s from couples traveling alone to families with a half-dozen campers to sleep.

In 1995, Thor introduced a Dutchman line of pop up campers. Another late entry is the Class C Dutchman Express motorhome. The 23J model even includes a slideout, making the living room area extra spacious. Most models of the Express are on a Ford Chassis.

Dutchmen trailers and fifth wheels are sold by many dealers throughout the USA.