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Filling big shoes, building unity, making dreams come true

Derald Bontrager

(Nov. 11, 2014) -- We all need each other so why not sit around the table having an open dialog that seeks to understand each other’s concerns and works toward win/win solutions. We may not always reach that win/win solution in the end but, at the very least, we will have made an honest attempt to listen and understand each other. Read More »

The Marcus Lemonis Halloween costume?

The Profit Halloween costume tip

(Nov. 3, 2014) -- Someone at CNBC, the station broadcasting The Profit, featuring Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis, thought it fitting to suggest dressing up like Lemonis for Halloween. But, to encourage young children to dress up like Lemonis when their fragile egos are not yet developed enough to pull off the character, is an unfair Halloween prank. Read More »

Legal trolls win again

(Sept. 12, 2014) -- This issue has been impacting the RV industry since I was the editor of RV Trade Digest and Norcold was publishing full-page ads in trade and consumer publications alerting people to the problem. Entire forests have been leveled to create paper for all the "notices" the company has sent out alerting people to the problem. For people to claim they company failed to provide notice of the "inherent risks" is insane. Read More »

Can people learn to inspect RVs in just five days?

(Aug. 25, 2014) -- Some say that only trained technicians should perform RV inspection services. I disagree. Inspecting is not the same as diagnosing a problem and it certainly isn't the same as knowing what to do to fix the problem. However, completing a diagnostic evaluation and then repairing whatever is wrong would certainly be within the realm of an RV technician. Read More »

Robin Williams’ legacy was a gift to the RV industry

(Aug. 12, 2014) -- The magic of Williams' comedy and impromptu wit inspired millions of adventure-seeking families to follow in his footsteps and "Go RVing." It's hard to imagine anyone other than Robin Williams playing that part. His gift to the RV industry will be among the legacy films that people will talk about for years. Read More »

Wi-Fi in campgrounds — Is it a good thing?

(July 30, 2014) -- The odd time our Internet goes down at our park we have a full scale revolution on our hands from our campers. I thought the idea was to get outside? Play games, spend time with your neighbors in the park, social interaction -- and I don't mean on Facebook. Why go somewhere and then replicate the same things you do at home? Read More »

Why America is still great — despite politicians

(July 4, 2014) -- After writing a scathing editorial yesterday about the the out-of-control bureaucracy and the potential for revolution in our country, I thought I would take a different take on Independence Day. I took the time to see Dinesh D'Souza's movie America: Imagine the World Without Her and was reminded of our country's greatness. Read More »

Happy Independence Day! Enjoy it while you can


(July 3, 2014) -- Friday, our nation celebrates the 238th anniversary of its independence from Great Britain. Party up folks, it may be our last. Soon, we will all be fully dependent upon the government, or something will happen to spark a revolution. Because voting has proven useless in curbing the size and scope of government, revolution is what I suspect the government fears will happen. Read More »

Can the RV industry solve the immigration crisis?

(June 27, 2014) -- Right now, I've heard there are more than 10,000 RVs waiting in Elkhart to be shipped to dealers. With the RV buying season slowing down soon, dealers don't want the things any more because they don't want to store them for nine months until the next RV shows. So, let's put border patrol agents on a bus or plane and send them to Elkhart. They can each drive or haul a new RV down to Texas for delivery to a newly immigrated family seeking to experience the American Dream. The RVs could be paired with Government Motors trucks, thus helping out the RV industry and helping out President Obama's publicly funded automaker. Read More »

RV industry loses a gentle giant

(June 23, 2014) -- It's ironic that Jay himself has not yet been inducted into that honorable legion of visionary leaders. Although it would have been much better for the Hall of Fame to recognize him when he was alive, I'm hoping there will be a groundswell of support to see that Jay is inducted into the class of 2015. Read More »

Are dealers REALLY willing to embrace model year consistency?

(June 17, 2014) -- The RV industry will likely never agree to consolidate model year changes to a specific date, like open house week, even if it would benefit the entire industry. With RV dealers demanding change and RV manufacturers consistently innovating, neither side wants their hands tied. Here's why. Read More »

Dealers fuming over early new model introductions

(June 13, 2014) -- What's the purpose of the Elkhart Open House? To sell RVs, of course. The real question is, why would manufacturers ply dealers with plenty of liquor at the event and get them to place large orders for an entire year of projected sales only to cut them off at the knees by introducing new models six or seven months later? Read More »