In the early 1990s, when thousands of Savings & Loan institutions failed, and the Gulf War began, the United States endured yet another recession. Although short-lived, millions of families and businesses felt the hardship for months and years. Some companies never recovered. Beaver Motorcoach Corporation was one of them. Let’s take a closer look at their decline and possible hope for a Beaver motorhome resurgence.
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Is Beaver Motorhomes Still In Business?
Beaver Motorcoach Corporation is no longer in business. Due to the recession of the early 1990s and different transfers in ownership, Beaver motorhomes have not been produced since 2009. However, with the recent purchase of the Beaver brand by Beaver Coach Sales and Service, the hope is that Beaver motorhomes will again hit the production line.
Who Made Beaver Motorhomes?
Founded in 1968, Beaver Motorcoach Corporation was based in Oregon. Founders Jim Hogue and Frank Storch began in Bend, Ore., and remained there for 40 years building motorhomes. Then, after new ownership took over, the headquarters moved to Coburg, Ore., for a brief period. The name “Beaver” came from the Oregon State University mascot.
What Happened to Beaver Motorhomes?
In the 1970s, Beaver Motorcoach Corporation started building motorhomes on a Chevrolet or Dodge chassis with a Chevrolet 454 or Dodge 440 engine. By the early 1980s, they began to expand to manufacture Class A gas-engine motorhomes, and by 1985, they had produced their first diesel engine motorcoach.
In the 1990s, trouble began. Workers lost their jobs because sales declined, and the company’s debt became insurmountable. In November 1993, Beaver Motorcoach Corporation was in debt of over $11 million and filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. During the protection period, Safari Motorcoach Corporation bought the company and took over ownership. That lasted less than a decade, as Monaco then purchased Safari in 2002.
Again, this was short-lived, as Monaco filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Navistar International then purchased the motorcoach company. However, they did not choose to buy the Beaver Coach brand name. So, the brand disappeared from the RV market.
Do They Still Make Beaver Motorhomes?
After Navistar International purchased Monaco, production stopped. However, with the Beaver Coach Sales and Service purchase in 2016, it appears that there may be hope for the Beaver motorhomes’ return. They’ll be in the same location where it all began over 50 years ago. According to their website, the owners hope to “restore them to their former glory.”
Beaver Coach Sales is now primarily a motorhome dealer but they specialize in older beaver coaches. Along with beaver, they sell a number of other high-end motorhomes as well.
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What Makes a Beaver Motorhome Special?
The primary reason owners love their Beaver motorhomes is the quality. These motorhomes are particularly known for their very high end woodwork and use of exocitic woods and burls. Used models go for over $200,000 because they hold their value. The residential finishes and quality craftsmanship make these motorcoaches comfortable for all types of travel experiences, from weekend getaways to months-long adventures.
Owner reviews repeatedly mention the quality and how their Beaver motorhomes have held up for over a decade or more. They truly are premium motorhomes, even if they’re older units.
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Can You Still Find Used Beaver Motorhomes?
Two Beaver Contessas were labeled 2010 and sold after Navistar International purchased Monaco because they were already on the production line. But the last true model year available for purchase is 2009. You can find these used and older models, for sale all over the country.
Depending on the model and year, there are units currently for sale from $55,000 for a 1999 Beaver Patriot Thunder Monticello to $250,000 for a 2009 Beaver Patriot Thunder Princeton IV.
Pro Tip: Before you buy a used Beaver motorhome use these tips to Determine Used Camper Values.
Can You Still Get Beaver Motorhomes Serviced?
Beaver Coach Sales and Service is still in operation. They’re an authorized dealer of Newmar, Tiffin, Entegra, Thor motorcoaches, Forest River travel trailers and fifth wheels, and Vanleigh RV fifth wheels.
In the Bend, Ore., area? Take your Beaver motorhome there and let people who care about the brand service it. If you don’t live in the Pacific Northwest, you can still take yours to an RV service department. However, call ahead to make sure they have technicians who know about the particular service you need.
The Beaver Legacy Lives On
The new owners at Beaver Coach Sales and Service may have a bright future planned for Beaver motorhomes. Returning the company to its home in Bend, Ore., is a positive sign for owners who love their older Beaver motorhomes but want to purchase a new unit. There are also about 1,000 members of the Beaver Ambassador Club, an international motorhome organization for Beaver motorhome owners. They hold rallies where owners from the United States and Canada gather together.
Also, it’s clear that Beaver motorhomes hold their value. They’re good motorcoaches produced by a company that felt the hardship of the recession and just couldn’t maintain business. If you see one for sale, don’t shy away from it because it isn’t currently on the production line. Maybe one day, we’ll get to see a brand new Beaver motorcoach hit the production line.
Are you looking forward to the new Beaver models? Drop a comment below!
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Thursday 24th of February 2022
Hey guys, this is a great article and as Beaver owners (2005 Patriot Thunder) we totally agree. The quality, workmanship, woodwork and reliability of our Beaver has been stellar. She is our little apartment on wheels with everything we need. We love every min in her (well except for when the nav system doesn't identify low underpasses) haha. It's always an adventure.
Mortons on the Move
Monday 14th of March 2022
Hey Denise! That does sound like an adventure for sure :) We didn't end up with one (although we got really close) but know how nice they are. We got one of their cousins (a Monaco) that is very nice, but the wood is not as top-notch.
Thursday 24th of February 2022
Good article about Beaver Motorcoachs! My father worked for Houge and Storch for many years back in the day. As a mater of fact, he was still doing their personal bookkeeping up until a couple months ago. They are all in their mid-eighties now.
From my own personal knowledge, Houge and Storch started making truck canopies/toppers in their garage in the beginning, before moving on to truck campers, then to Class C motor homes, etc. They built an amazing product for sure.
The son’s of Houge and Storch are now making truck campers under the “Host” name and carrying on the craftsmanship they learned from their fathers. The campers are very high quality and innovative by todays standards.
Great to see that so many Beaver Coaches are still on the road!