Who Owns Jayco RV? 8 Facts You Should Know (Explained)

Who Owns Jayco RV

Have you ever wondered who owns Jayco RV? Well, we´ve got you covered.

Jayco RV is a company that has been around since the 1960s. They are also a major source of employment in Indiana. As a result, a lot of people do wonder who owns Jayco RV.

On this page, we are going to talk a little bit about the ownership structure of Jayco RV. We are also going to into a little bit of depth about who makes the decisions at the company.

So, who owns Jayco RV? Jayco RV currently operates as a subsidiary of Thor Industries, one of the largest RV manufacturing companies in the world.

First we are going to need to talk about the history of Jayco RV. 

Is Jayco RV A Family Run Company?

Yes and no. Confusing, right?

Now, Jayco RV is run by a family. The Bontrager family, in fact. It has been run by the same family since the 1960s. However, they do not have sole control of the business.

Jayco RV, as you are about to discover, is actually owned by Thor Industries. So, while Jayco RV does act like a family-run company, and their website may even state that they are family-run, they are just a small part of a much larger company.

This does mean that the Bontrager family likely doesn’t benefit quite so much from the sales of Jayco RV vehicles nowadays.

They may gain an income from licensing or bonuses, but that is about it. Any of the profits that the Jayco company makes will be filtered through to Thor Industries.


There is a small chance that when Thor Industries purchased Jayco RV from the Bontrager family that the Bontragers were able to retain a small ownership stake in the business. However, this isn’t really the type of business deal that gets discussed, and thus it is tough to find out that much information on.

That being said, since the company is still helmed by a member of the Bontrager family, there must still be a small amount of ownership on their side.

If there wasn’t, then you can bet your bottom dollar that Thor Industries would have replaced the Bontragers a long time ago. Companies like this really do want to ensure that they always have the best possible person chairing a company.

Read also: Who Owns Thor industries – 6 Facts You Should Know (Explained)

The History of Jayco RV

The Jayco company first got started in 1968 when Lloyd and his wife Bertha Bontrager first started building their own design for travel trailers. It was a fold-down style. It wasn’t long before the company started selling a ton of them, and in the first year alone, they were selling one every three days.

Of course, the team behind Jayco knew that they had a hit on their hands. Therefore, it wasn’t too long before they started expanding their company. This included opening a new manufacturing plant in Kansas.

Sadly, Lloyd Bontrager ended up being killed in a plane crash. However, the company is still helmed by his family.

Nowadays, the majority of the Jayco RV manufacturing takes place in Middlebury, Indiana. Here, they produce RVs under several different brand names. This includes:

  • Highland Ridge
  • Starcraft RV
  • Entegra Coach

Plus their own brand. Each year, they produce about 50,000 RVs. 

The Jayco RV company is well known for having the majority of its employees come from the Amish and Mennonite communities around Indiana. 

Even though they owned by a different company from when they started, they still have those strong links with the community, which is brilliant to see. 

Jayco Factory Tour >> Check out the video below:


The Owner of Jayco RV

Jayco RV currently operates as a subsidiary of Thor Industries, one of the largest RV manufacturing companies in the world. In fact, Thor Industries is responsible for the production of at least 25% of all RVs produced in the United States!

This is because they have around a dozen brands operating under them. If you have seen an RV on the road, chances are that it would have been produced by Thor Industries. 

By all accounts, Jayco RV still retains some sort of independence from Thor Industries. Obviously, Jayco RV does still have targets that it needs to meet. However, the company is currently run by Derald Bontrager, a relative of one of the founders of Jayco RV.

Ownership Structure of Thor Industries

Of course, it is pretty tough for us to talk about the ownership of Jayco RV without talking about who actually owns Thor Industries.

Well, to put it simply, Thor Industries is a PLC. This means that it is listed on the New York Stock Exchange i.e. you can buy and sell shares in it.

This means that the owners of Thor Industries are the public. Anybody can go somebody that sells shares and buy a stake in Thor Industries.

Of course, this isn’t really telling the ‘full’ story on that front.

The Shareholders of Thor Industries

There are thousands of shareholders in Thor Industries. Some hold a couple of shares, some hold thousands upon thousands of shares. Technically, all of these are going to be part-owners of Thor Industries, but it doesn’t quite work out like that.

There are six companies that hold a greater than 4% stake in Thor Industries. None of these companies has a stake greater than 12.5%.

All of the companies that have invested in Thor Industries, and thus are the owners of Jayco RV, are investment firms. This means that they have invested in Thor Industries, but they don’t really take part in the day-to-day running of the company (more on that in a short while).

So, how do these companies get the funds to invest? Well, from a variety of sources. A lot of the time, it is multi-millionaires handing their money over to the investment firms and asking them to invest on their behalf.

There isn’t really a list of the people that are doing this. Obviously, the investment firms want to keep their client list to themselves. 

If you have a pension, and we are almost certain that you do, then these pensions gain funds by investing in and owning companies like Thor Industries. Therefore, some of the pension money that you receive may have come from Thor Industries at some point.

The shareholders just have a stake in the company. When Jayco RV and Thor Industries are doing good, the shareholders will have a cut of the profits. They are also free to sell the ownership stake in the company if they wish.

Do Shareholders Have a Say in the Running of Jayco RV?

Technically, yes. In reality, no. It would be a slow and cumbersome process.

None of the shareholders have a controlling stake in Thor Industries. In order to have a controlling stake, they would have to have over 50% of the available shares for the business. Since no investment firm holds over 12.5% stake in Thor Industries, nobody is even close to this. 

The larger shareholders in Thor Industries can ‘band together’ and force Thor Industries to make certain decisions, but even this is going to be rare. As we said before, none of them really have experience in the RV sector. They are there to collect their dividends and that is it. 

The day-to-day running of Thor Industries is carried out by:

  • Bob Martin as the CEO
  • Peter Busch Orthwein as the Chairman 

It is their job to oversee the running of the Thor Industries company. If the shareholders believe that neither of these two are doing a good job, then they can be voted out. However, this is rare. In fact, it is unlikely to happen. Thor Industries is constantly growing and increasing the amount of profit that they make. This is exactly what shareholders want to see.

Both of these guys will likely make decisions that impact Jayco RV. However, they are not really going to have a major impact on the day-to-day running of Jayco RV. For example, Bob Martin probably isn’t going to go to Jayco and say “build us a new RV type”.

That isn’t his job. There are too many subsidiaries at Thor Industries for him to focus on a single one like this.

Instead, the day-to-day running of Jayco RV is overseen by Derald Bontrager. He is the one that will be making all the decisions that impact the running of Jayco, as well as any brands that Jayco owns.

It is likely that Derald Bontrager is assisted by other members of the Bontrager family in the decision-making process. However, sadly, there isn’t that much information about the ownership on that front. 

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Can You Own a Stake in Jayco RV?

If you have ever wanted to be a part-owner of an RV company, you can. Although, it isn’t something that we recommend. Although, we did want to cover everything related to the ownership of Jayco Inc, so we do need to discuss it.

Because Thor Industries is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, anybody can head to a stockbroker and buy a share in the company. In fact, you can buy as many shares as you want, providing that you have the money!

Obviously, nobody reading this page will ever be able to buy enough shares to have a controlling stake in the running of Thor Industries.

In fact, the shares can be so expensive that you would unlikely be able to buy enough shares to own even a fraction of a percent. 

If you do own shares in Thor Industries, then you will be entitled to a vote on major decisions for the company. You will also receive a small dividend each year that the company makes a profit. This dividend is a share of the profits. Although, as with most RV companies, this money isn’t going to be a lot.

You have to remember that while Thor Industries is a multi-billion dollar business, it is expensive to make RVs. At the end of the year, they only end up with a couple of hundred million dollars in profit. You may think that this is a lot, but it is not.

Some of this money is going to be set to one side for further investment in the business. The rest will be shared out across hundreds of thousands of shares. You would be lucky to gain a few cents per share owned in the company.


While Jayco Inc. does act as an independent company, it is owned and operated by Thor Industries. By all accounts, Thor Industries doesn’t get majorly involved in the running of the business.

Why would they? Jayco is a highly profitable company producing a ton of RVs each year.




Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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