The fathers started building truck campers in Oregon in 1966 under the Beaver name and then manufactured small Class C motorhomes in the 1970s before taking Beaver into the big luxury motorhome market. With the fathers providing advice and help, the sons formed Host Industries in 2001 to build truck campers, and Host has just started producing Class C motorhomes too.
Whether Host will ever build Class A luxury motorhomes remains to be seen, but Host has now moved into the same plant in Bend, Oregon, where Beaver coaches were once built. Host took over the facility after Monaco Coach Corporation, which now owns the Beaver brand, shifted production of Beaver coaches from Bend to Coburg, Oregon.
Dave Hogue says the new home represents Host’s fourth expansion in six years. The new location has 55,000 square feet of manufacturing space and another 6,000 square feet of offices. That’s a big jump from the 20,000 square feet the company previously occupied.
By moving into the old Beaver plant, Host’s owners are returning to their roots. Growing up while their fathers were business partners, Dave Hogue and Mark Storch have been friends since childhood. Dave, who is 10 years older, jokes that he taught Mark how to tie his shoelaces.
Both started working on the Beaver assembly line while in high school and then continued on to responsible positions in the RV industry. Dave became general manager of a Safari motorhome division and Mark was chief engineer for Beaver. The two talked for years about forming their own RV company before establishing Host Industries.
Today the company has about 80 employees. About 60 percent of the work force formerly worked on Beaver coaches, and the company also maintains its ties to the Beaver tradition by using the familiar Bucky the Beaver logo.
Dave handles sales and marketing while Mark oversees manufacturing. Their fathers are actively involved in the business, helping with design and other issues. It’s hard to resist their advice, Dave says, especially when his father points out, “I’ve built thousands of these.”
The new Host motor coach is aimed at the upper end of the Class C market. It carries a suggested retail price of $133,000 if you want a Ford 550 chassis with two-wheel drive and $137,900 if you opt for four-wheel drive. The coach comes with an abundance of features. As Dave puts it: “We just loaded it up.”
You can read more about the Host motor coach in the Product Spotlight section elsewhere in this issue.
You’ll also find a story on two new motorhomes in the Travel Supreme lineup. Travel Supreme is another manufacturer that started building one product—fifth wheels—and has expanded into another area: luxury motorhomes. Our cover story takes a look at the new Alanté and the top-of-the-line Select Limited.
We have lots of other product news this month, including a new rear gas engine from Workhorse Custom Chassis, and redesigned campers from Eagle Cap.
Elsewhere in this month’s issue, you will find lots of ideas for places to travel this fall, from the coast of California to the Nevada desert and north to the mountains of Washington. Writer Donna Ikenberry tells you where you can drive your RV to the beach in California to watch elephant seals. Columnist Sharlene Minshall shows you the sights to be found on the road to Mt. Baker in Washington. And writer Gerald C. Hammon takes us back to a time when gold and silver were more important elements in Nevada than neon.
The West is full of fascinating places to visit, and we hope you enjoy sharing the experiences of our travel writers as they seek out new adventures.
– – – – – – –