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Thor’s RV Empire, Explained

Thor’s RV Empire, Explained

According to Webster’s Dictionary, an “empire” is a supreme power greater than a kingdom. In light of that definition, RV manufacturers like Airstream, Jayco, and Entegra may be considered kingdoms in Thor Industries’ empire.

It has grown into one of the most successful companies in the RV industry. Let’s take a look at how Thor Industries got its start and has continued to flourish over the decades into this RV empire. Let’s dive in.

What Is Thor Industries? 

Thor Industries is one of the most successful companies in the RV industry. In 1980, Wade Thompson and Peter Orthwein purchased Airstream and began Thor Industries. Since then, the company has continued to grow through acquisitions. 

Dozens of brands are now part of the family, including RV manufacturers and companies specializing in RV accessories. Their brands in North America and Europe have created the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles.

What Is the History of Thor Industries? 

When Wade Thompson and Peter Orthwein purchased Airstream, an already iconic American brand, in 1980, they unknowingly began a ripple effect of acquisitions that would continue over several decades. 

Their second acquisition was in 1982 when they purchased the Canadian company General Coach. Just two years later, Thor Industries became a public company, and in 1986, it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. By then, they ranked sixth out of the “200 best small companies in America” by Forbes Magazine.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, the company continued purchasing RV manufacturers. Another significant acquisition came in 2001 with the purchase of Keystone RV. Less than a decade later, it made its largest purchase to date with the addition of Heartland RV Company in 2010. 

The most recent two purchases were in 2020 and 2021. Tiffin, one of the premier luxury motorhome manufacturers, and Airxcel, a leading supplier of aftermarket RV accessories, joined the Thor Industries family.

Thor RV parked for camping
Thor Industries is one of the most established RV brands in the industry.

What RV Brands Does Thor Own? 

You may recognize several big names under their umbrella. As already mentioned, Airstream, Keystone, and Tiffin are all part of Thor Industries. Other well-known brands include Jayco, Heartland, Dutchmen, Entegra, and DRV. 

Other non-RV manufacturing brands include Aqua-Hot, Roadtrippers, and Togo (which include RVillage social network). Airxcel also has other well-known brands like Tempered Glass and Dicor products under its umbrella.

In 2019, Thor Industries acquired Erwin Hymer Group (EHG), one of Europe’s largest makers of recreational vehicles. Currently, Thor owns 16 European caravan manufacturers, including Eriba, Laika, and Carado. The company also has five European non-RV manufacturers.

Pro Tip: Want to get a Thor Industries RV? We found the 5 Best Thor RVs.

What RVs Are Made by Thor? 

With its huge family of brands, Thor Industries makes all types of RVs from travel trailers and fifth wheels to motorhomes. Within individual brands like KZ and Highland Ridge, you’ll have a variety of types. For example, you can buy a travel trailer, fifth wheel, toy hauler, Class A, or Class C from Jayco. 

They also range in price and luxury. You can get an entry-level travel trailer to try out the RV lifestyle. Or you can get motorcoaches priced close to $1 million for the most luxurious of accommodations. 

You may want towable RVs that are so lightweight even a sedan or small SUV could tow them. Or perhaps you like the fifth wheels that weigh over 20,000 lbs. So, whatever class, type, and style you want, you’ll have several options within its family of brands.

How Much Is Thor RV Worth?

According to Macrotrends, as of February 2022, Thor Industries is worth approximately $5.32 billion. Revenue exceeds $12.3 billion. 

According to an article by MSN, if you had invested $1,000 in Thor Industries in August 2011, it would be worth $5,213.94 as of August 2021. The company continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

Did You Know: Thor Industries is expanding! Recently, Thor Industries Acquires Overnight RV Parking Through Joint Venture, Togo Group. Check it out!

Is Thor RV a Good Brand?

Thor Industries is one of the most successful companies in the RV industry worldwide. Its closest competitors are Winnebago and Forest River RV. 

Keep in mind: According to an RV Mechanic, these are the systems that fail first.

So if you buy from a Thor brand, you’ll get an RV from a trusted and long-standing company. They’ve been vetted for quality and customer service. They won’t purchase a low-quality brand.

From Airstream to Tiffin and all brands in between, you have so many choices to find your perfect RV. Whether you’re a newbie or seasoned traveler, check out all of the options at Thor Industries.

What will your next RV be? Drop a comment below!

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Chris Casey

Friday 25th of February 2022

We bought a Thor Motorhome in 2017. It is hands down the WORST RV OF ALL TIME. It took 2 years to repair all the SCREWED UP PIECES AND PARTS, including 2 massive water leak FLOODS. The driver side wall panel above the window was NEVER SEALED at the factory. Thor REFUSED to repair it! The full 2 years of repairs went the same way. NEVER buy anything made by Thor!

Benw

Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

This article's history of Thor Industries is incomplete. I can find better information on Wikipedia's website! No mention of RevRV (maker of brands Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler, and Monaco) either, another one of TI's competitors! No mention of Thor motorcoach, a result of merging former companies Four winds and Damon motorcoach. Plus no mention of the line of RVs that TI produces itself, namely the freedom series of class A and Class C RVs. I thought this article was pro-TI and nothing retrospective concerning quality issues and reputation. Becoming larger and absorbing the competition isnt necessarily a good thing. Just look at what happened to British Leland as an example of acquisitions gone bad.

Ken Larson

Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

I have to agree with Ray Brown as to the extremely low quality. We purchased a Keystone Kodiak in 2020. First the bottom of drawers fell out due to incorrect sizing, openings for electrical plugs look like they were created with a hammer, a campo sewer hose will not fit in the bumper and the water pump is very noisy. The radio failed right away and the roof consists of a 1/4 inch piece of play with a membrane covering. I have spent several thousand dollars to improve the trailer and now think it will last as long as we will be RVing, we are in our 80's so RVing life is relatively short probably less than 5 years due to health issues. Don't expect much when we sell it but the new owners will get a TT that is better than the one's out of the factory.

Ray Brown

Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

Good Article. Will definitely check out "Five Best Thor RVs". Over the years we've been in RVing (since 1995), mostly the name "Thor" connotes poorly constructed RVs with inferior materials. The biggest exception to that is Airstream itself, which may in fact be one of the best RVs! From reading RV user's groups ratings and watching YouTube videos describing Thor RVs it appears that the Entegra has not declined since being bought out by Thor, but Jayco has. In fact, Entegra's line has expanded. We cannot vouch for towables other than Airstream because we are motorhome people but if you look at RVTrader at motorhomes, and look at what is at the bottom of the price lists ("lowest price first") it is replete with Thor motorhomes. Wouldn't recommend the actual "Thor" motorhome brand as, for the most part, it is entry level with cheap constructed structures and materials. For instance, when Winnebago or Forest River use domed fiberglass roofs or AZDEL sidewalls, Thor uses soft roofs and traditional luan products in the walls. Not what you want for the long haul.

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