Gulf Stream Coach, Inc.
503 S. Oakland Ave.
PO Box 1005
Nappanee, IN 46550
Web site: http://www.gulfstreamcoach.com
As one of the RV industrys top five manufacturers, Gulf Stream has a 20-year heritage and a broad product line. The companys founder, James F. Shea Sr., was the driving force behind Gulf Streams growth. His vision, insight and spirit for innovation set the company on the road to success. Shea, Sr. began as an attorney in Detroit, but after becoming intrigued with the possibilities of manufactured housing, he started Fairmont Homes in 1971 in an old sauerkraut factory. The manufactured homes had a contemporary look and sold quite well. As the success of Fairmont Homes took off, Shea began thinking about entering into the RV industry.
Although he first looked at acquiring existing companies, Shea instead chose to start from scratch by building new facilities and utilizing improved construction technology in short, doing things his own way. After much thought and many long hours, a new RV company was launched, Gulf Stream Coach. The name was based on fishing trips taken with dealers to the Florida Keys, where they would enjoy in the warm Gulf Stream. Although recreational vehicles are somewhat similar to manufactured housing, few makers produced both, putting Fairmont Homes/Gulf Stream Coach in unfamiliar territory. Gulf Streams first RV travel trailer, the 1983 Foxfire, benefited from techniques that had made their housing company successful, such as residential-style hardwood cabinets, more vibrant colors and generally higher quality materials. The same year, Gulf Stream introduced its Sun Stream motorhome. Both were immediate successes at local RV shows.
Still based in Nappanee, Indiana, privately-held Gulf Stream is now run by the second generation of Sheas. Over the years, the company has expanded to include luxury diesel pusher motorhomes, as well as many models of Class A, B and C motorhomes. Towable products range from lightweight and standard travel trailers to luxury fifth-wheels and toy haulers.
Owners Club: Gulf Streamers RV Club
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