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|Founders||Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager|
Number of employees
Jayco Inc., a subsidiary of Thor Industries, is an American manufacturer of recreation vehicles. The company manufactures fold-down, also called "pop-up" camping trailers, conventional travel trailers, toy haulers, fifth-wheel travel trailers, and motorhomes (Class A and C). Jayco is based in Middlebury, Indiana, and about three-quarters of its 3,200-person workforce is from the Amish and Mennonite communities of Indiana.
The company was founded in 1968 by Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager. Bontrager developed a trailer fold-down system in 1967 and started the business of making travel trailers in two chicken houses and a barn. In the first year of operations the company sold 132 trailers, and by the end of 1968 it had 15 employees. The company continued to grow and in 1970 built another plant in Harper, Kansas.
The company was hard hit in the energy crunch of the 1970s, and several of their plants were closed temporarily. In the late 1980s and early 1990s they also suffered another slowdown due to the high price of gasoline. The company recovered to become the second largest U.S. manufacturer of towable products by 1995.
On Easter Sunday, 1985, Lloyd Bontrager was killed when his small airplane crashed in the vicinity of Muncie, Indiana. His wife Bertha became chairman of the board at Jayco, and later her sons Wilbur and Derald assumed leadership roles within the company. Currently, Derald Bontrager is president and CEO.
In addition to the Jayco brand, Jayco acquired Entegra Coach in 2008, Starcraft RV in 1991 and Highland Ridge in 2014. Jayco currently manufactures about 50,000 RVs per year, and reached the 1 millionth manufactured RV milestone in April 2016.
Jayco is known for their Jay Flight model, which became available in 2001. Since 2005, the Jayco Jay Flight has been the #1 selling travel trailer brand. In 2006, the Jay Flight brand expanded its model lineup with the addition of the seasonal model, Bungalow. As part of an exclusive deal with the legendary American company, Jay Flights began featuring tires from Goodyear® with Durawall® technology standard. Jay Flight was the first to be listed as a Gold Medal Green Certified RV.
Current Model Range
|Jay Feather||Travel Trailer||Towable|
|White Hawk||Travel Trailer||Towable|
|Jay Flight||Travel Trailer||Towable|
|Jay Flight SLX 7||Travel Trailer||Towable|
|Jay Flight SLX 8||Travel Trailer||Towable|
|Jay Flight Bungalow||Travel Trailer||Towable|
|Eagle HT||Travel Trailer||Towable|
|Eagle HTX Fifth Wheel||Fifth Wheel||Towable|
|Eagle HT Fifth Wheel||Fifth Wheel||Towable|
|Eagle Fifth Wheel||Fifth Wheel||Towable|
|North Point||Fifth Wheel||Towable|
|Octane Super Lite||Toy Hauler||Towable|
|Talon Platinum||Toy Hauler||Towable|
|Redhawk SE||Class C||Gas||Chevrolet|
|Greyhawk Prestige||Class C||Gas||Ford|
|Melbourne Prestige||Class C||Diesel||Mercedes-Benz|
|Precept Prestige||Class A||Gas||Ford|
|Embark||Class A||Diesel||Spartan Motors|
In 2010, all of Jayco's products were green certified by TRA Certification, an accredited certification. This made Jayco the first major RV manufacturer to be 100 percent green certified and fully recognized for building products with green manufacturing processes and materials.
In 2013, Jayco Inc.'s three operating divisions, Jayco, Starcraft and Entegra Coach, recycled 1,284 tons of wood, 13,221 tons of scrap metal and 1,801 tons of cardboard and paper, saving 59,900 mature trees.
Jayco has had a recycling program in effect since the early 1980s, and has received several recognitions for its recycling efforts including a Governor's Award of Excellence.
Awards and recognition
- 2015 RVDA Titan Award (Bertha Bontrager-Rhodes and Lloyd Bontrager)
- Jay Flight America's bestselling travel trailer 14 years running
- Travel Trailer - Trailer Life 2015 Bronze Award Winner - Readers' Choice Award
- Best of Show - New Unit by RV News (2018 Octane)
- Motorhome Silver Award Winner - Readers' Choice Award 2015 (Class C)
- Quality Circle Awards
Jayco partnered with a UK-based company in the late 1970s and produced a tent camper for the European market. Jayco Australia Ltd was founded in 1975, and production commenced there the following year. Jayco of Australia soon became the largest player in the Australian camper/caravan industry.
Jayco Travel Club
Jayco developed a special travel club called "Jayco Travel Club" that has yearly vacation plans. It has over 100 chapters in the United States and Canada for their customers. The chapters are called "Flights" and often contain references to the blue jay, which is Jayco's logo and mascot.
- "UPDATE: Jayco expansion to create 360 jobs in Twin Falls". Magic Valley.
- Booker, Ted (2 July 2016). "Thor acquires Jayco in $576 million deal". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
- "Jayco, Inc. company history". Fundinguniverse. International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 13. St. James Press, 1996. 2016. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- "Jayco Factory Tour in Middlebury, IN". Watch it Made in the USA. Karen Axelrod and Bruce Brumberg. 2016. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- Stephanie + Jeremy. "RVFTA #210 Jayco's 50th Anniversary Celebration with Bertha Bontrager Rhodes". RVTA.
- NEWS, THE GOSHEN. "Wilbur Bontrager retiring from Jayco Inc". Goshen News.
- "Thor Announces Acquisition of Jayco for $576 Million". pr newswire.
- Booker, Ted. "Jayco hits milestone with 1 millionth RV". south bend tribune.
- Tribune, South Bend. "Thor acquires Jayco in $576 million deal". Retrieved July 1, 2016.
- "RV Executive Today: Top-Selling Brands For 2017". RVBusiness.
- MacNeal, David. "Jayco Reports Its RVs are 100% Green Certified". RV Pro.
- "Jayco's EcoAdvantage Program Meeting Goals". RV Business.
- "Jayco Founders Honored with RVDA Titan Award". RVDA.
- "RV Executive Today: Top-Selling Brands For 2017". RV Business.
- "Good as Gold … and Silver and Bronze". Trailer Life.
- Bunker, Kristopher. "And the Winners Are …". Motorhome.
- "Quality Circle Award". RVDA.
- "Jayco Travel Club - Tours". www.jaycorvclub.com.
- "Jayco Travel Club - About". www.jaycorvclub.com.
- "Jayco Travel Club - Chapters". www.jaycorvclub.com.