In The Beginning...
Terry Reed, from an idea in the early 1960's, produced the first caravan in his garage including home made drapes and cushions. By the early 1970's, Ace caravans had become one of Britain's leading caravan manufacturers with the Award being at the helm of the product line.
In 1972 the Ace Caravan amalgamated with neighboring Belmont Caravans, a company that produced ten-feet-wide holiday homes, to become Ace Belmont International (ABI).
ABI became renowned for its quality and workmanship, and a leader for innovation through its commitment to new technology.
By 1983, in their 21st year ABI had become one of the largest single manufacturers of caravans in Britain and Europe. The Award became their most dynamic product line, boasting a wind tunnel tested aerodynamic shape similar to that of England's high speed trains.
In the fall of 1983 the new Award Challenger was displayed at the national RV dealer show in Louisville, Kentucky. It was here that the family who owned Davies Trailer Centre in Ontario, Canada was attracted to the Award concept.
The same 23ft Award Challenger was displayed in February 0f 1984 by the Davies RV dealership at the Motor Home and Trailer Show, a retail show in Toronto, Canada. Consumer reaction was very positive. The product became the talk of the show. Dealers and manufacturers were enamored by the design with a multitude of standard features. The new concept offered a towable, aerodynamic light-weight, quality-built travel trailer.
The first 150 Award Challengers were imported from England at which time Award began acquiring dealers in both Canada and the USA.
A joint venture manufacturing company, named ABI Leisure Products was formed between ABI Caravans and the Davies family. A plant was acquired in Grimsby, Ontario and the first Award 30ft Columbia travel trailer rolled off the assembly line in July of 1985.
Over the next few years, the Davies family acquired the entire company, introducing the Award Classic series in 1987 and the 700 series in 1988.
ABI Leisure Products continued to produce the Award product in Grimsby, Ontario, culminating with successfully rolling out their 1000th production unit. The company moved to a larger facility in Dunnville, Ontario, in 1990. The product enjoyed steady growth across North America. It became recognized in the marketplace as an upscale quality built unit with superior towability and design characteristics.
Around this time ABI Leisure Products sold its interest in the company to the Davies family. Product development was on-going, with the addition of a 27ft and 34ft travel trailer size and the Award fifth wheel trailer in 1993. The 1995 model year brought with it a completely revamped interior with over 120 modifications, including ducted air conditioning, aluminum framed side walls, additional interior head room and residential style interior cabinetry.
When the 5,000th production unit came off the production line, the company employed 175 people, producing five units a day and boasting 100 RV dealerships in North America.
With the introduction of the 1996 models, our R & D department began developing a slide-out design for fifth wheel trailers. When unforeseen circumstances combined with the economy, a decision was made to close ABI Leisure Products in the fall of 1995.
In the spring of 1996 a new company was formed, Diels Distribution, to assist Award owners and dealerships with parts procurement, service and technical support. This company was supported by the Davies family investment to help guarantee the continued success of the Award name and the products it represented.
Later that same year a second company, Award Recreational Vehicles, was formed by the same group that went on to purchase a large percentage of the assets of the company closed in late 1995.
As the company regrouped there was no 1997 production, but the new company commenced production of Award travel trailers for the 1998 model year and has continued to this day.
It was at this time that there was a significant shift in marketing policy. The company chose to sell directly to the public rather than through a dealer network, offering a unique, direct company-customer relationship.
The new company's focus on working directly with the customer creates a reputation for being a "unique product, offering towing excellence and aerodynamic efficiencies, reliability, technical superiority and of quality design, fit and finish".
Award Recreational Vehicles has seen steady growth since 1997 and operates out of a 50,000 square foot facility. In 2002 slide out models became available, along with two new lengths of travel trailers, including a 31ft triple slide-out, and company-customer-designed foor plans.