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PODCAST 63: Roadtrek Motorhomes and Balfour Resort

PODCAST 63: Roadtrek Motorhomes and Balfour Resort (Aug. 28, 2015) -- The first guest this week is Jim Hammill, president and CEO of Roadtrek, which is located in Kitchener, Ontario. Roadtrek is one of the pioneer builders of Class B motorhomes, which have seen a lot of interest in recent years as baby boomers downsize from Class As and fifth wheels and want to continue enjoying the RV lifestyle. The second guests are the owners of Balfour RV Resorts up in beautiful British Columbia. Balfour is unique in that it's an established RV park that decided to sell its sites to private buyers. Some newer RV parks get construction money by doing that, but it is unusual to see an existing park migrating to the private owner business model. Read More »

PODCAST 62: InteractRV President Kevin Wallenbeck

PODCAST 62: InteractRV President Kevin Wallenbeck (Aug. 20, 2015) -- Wallenbeck talks about whether simply having a website is enough for business owners today, or whether they must do something else to draw people to their sites. With millions of websites clamoring for attention of consumers, and ranking on Internet search engines, he explains what business owners can do to stand out among the crowded online marketplace. Read More »

Statistical Surveys, RoverPass featured on Podcast 61

Statistical Surveys, RoverPass featured on Podcast 61 (Aug. 18, 2015) -- The RV industry's "data man," Walworth's team provides the other half of the market report. Where the RV Industry Association compiles a monthly statement showing how many RVs have been shipped to dealers from manufacturers, Statistical surveys shows how many of those RVs have been sold and in what markets, down to the zip code. The second guest is Ravi Parikh, the president of RoverPass, a new website set to rock the outdoor hospitality industry by pushing reservation requests directly to campgrounds by phone, e-mail or fax in real time. Read More »

FMCA’s Jerry Yeatts, NRVIA’s Terry Cooper on podcast 60

FMCA’s Jerry Yeatts, NRVIA’s Terry Cooper on podcast 60 (Aug. 7, 2015) -- Podcast episode 60, which is sponsored by ADCO Products, features an interview with Jerry Yeatts, the executive director of the Family Motor Coach Association. Yeatts offers an update on what's happening at FMCA and describes some of the steps the association is taking to bring on younger members. The next guest is Terry Cooper, president of the RV Inspectors Association. It has been one year since NRVIA launched an ambitious plan to recruit and train 1,500 certified inspectors. Cooper offers an update on progress toward that goal and also shares interesting insight the group has gathered after analyzing a year's worth of inspection data. He also introduces the certified pre-owned inspection service designed for RV dealers. Read More »

Bretz RV, NASCAR Campground Network on Podcast 59

Bretz RV, NASCAR Campground Network on Podcast 59 (July 30, 2015) -- Podcast episode 59 features an interview with Mark Bretz, owner of Bretz RV. He talks about his dealership, how it is weathering the economic recovery and what the market is like in the Pacific northwest. Bretz describes where he sees the RV industry headed and offers a warning to RV dealers. The second interview features Adam DiPietro, who heads up a new initiative to create a network of NASCAR themed campgrounds throughout the country. He describes the network, its goals and what campgrounds can do to tap into the huge NASCAR fan base. Read More »

KOA’s Lorne Armer, consultant Mary Arlington on Podcast 58

KOA’s Lorne Armer, consultant Mary Arlington on Podcast 58 (July 9, 2015) -- In this episode of RV Industry News, Lorne Armer, KOA's vice president of brand development, offers and update on KOA's own rebranding initiative as well as some insight into how KOA evaluates partnership requests from other companies. Then, campground consultant Mary Arlington talks about what campground owners can do to build stronger businesses and to improve their reach through social media marketing. Read More »

ARVC President Paul Bambei on Podcast 57

ARVC President Paul Bambei on Podcast 57 (July 2, 2015) -- Bambei talks about the mission of ARVC and some new additions to the association's strategic plan designed to help park owners build stronger businesses. He outlines some of the challenges RV parks and campgrounds face, and why it's better to belong to a professional trade group to benefit from "strength in numbers."Bambei talks about the mission of ARVC and some new additions to the association's strategic plan designed to help park owners build stronger businesses. He outlines some of the challenges RV parks and campgrounds face, and why it's better to belong to a professional trade group to benefit from "strength in numbers." Read More »

Winegard President Jon Manley on Podcast 56

Winegard President Jon Manley on Podcast 56 Manley describes how the transition to high-definition has impacted the RV industry and why he thinks television will remain a viable entertainment option for RVers since it is nearly impossible to stream video in a campground. The company has invested heavily into creating automated processes to build the components, yet the quality of finished products attests to the value of that investment, he explains. Manley also provides some insight into the direction of the RV market, at least from a component supplier perspective -- and it's good news for consumers, especially where satellite Internet is concerned. Read More »

Freightliner marketing guru Bryan Henke on Podcast 55

Freightliner marketing guru Bryan Henke on Podcast 55 (June 4, 2015) -- This week's guest is Bryan Henke, the manager of product marketing for Freightliner Custom Chassis, a company that has dominated the Class A diesel market for years. He talks about some of the new features being introduced into Freightliner chassis, and he gives RV dealers some tips on how to educate customers on the benefits and advantages of upgrading to diesel motorhomes. Henke also describes increasing in interest in entry level motorhomes, and hints that first-time buyers may be jumping right into the motorhome market. Read More »

Allied Specialty Vehicles, Workhorse featured on Podcast 54

Allied Specialty Vehicles, Workhorse featured on Podcast 54 The first guest is Tim Sullivan, the interim CEO of Allied Specialty Vehicles. He address concerns about the direction of the company following the sudden and immediate retirement of former CEO John Draheim and the announcement that the company had laid off several dozen people at its motorhome production facility. Next up is Caimin Flannery, the chief operations officer for Workhorse, which announced its re-entry into the motorhome chassis market. He addresses up front the idea that Workhorse is a company that jumps in and out of the RV market. Read More »

KOA Care Camps featured on Podcast 53

KOA Care Camps featured on Podcast 53 (May 21, 2015) -- This week's guests are Scott and Diane King, the owners of the Springfield Route 66 KOA campground in Missouri. Diane serves on the board of directors of KOA Care Camps, an organization that has raised $8 million since 1984 -- $1 million last year alone -- to help send kids with cancer to camp for a week. Care Camps supports 56 separate campgrounds that provide a camping experience to kids at no cost to their families. Read More »

Gary Motley talks dealership displays on Podcast 52

Gary Motley talks dealership displays on Podcast 52 (May 8, 2015) -- This is Motley's second appearance on RV Industry News. Last time he focused on service center operations. In this interview, Motley switches gears and focuses on one of his pet peeves -- dealers who do not ensure that RVs, especially used units, are properly set up in "sale ready" condition. It's a situation he thinks costs dealers dearly in terms of missed sales and lowered reputations. As an industry trainer, Motley has talked about his issues with RV dealers for years at various conferences. However, as more discerning buyers arrive on RV sales lots, they are expecting to view RVs without defect and missing parts. Read More »

Dave Napp, CEO of Carefree Communities, on Podcast 51

Dave Napp, CEO of Carefree Communities, on Podcast 51 (April 30, 2015) -- Napp talks about the biggest changes he has seen in the campground business, as well as trends he's noticing in the outdoor hospitality industry as well. He identifies several underserviced areas in the campground segment of the RV industry, such as finding investment dollars and land to create more RV parks. There are a number of things the campground industry can do to better reach its potential for customers and for investors, and he outlines how social media is a campground's absolute best friend for maintaining a community of campers all year round. Read More »

Winnebago’s Chad Reece, Sheila Davis on Podcast 50

Winnebago’s Chad Reece, Sheila Davis on Podcast 50 (April 24, 2015) -- Chad Reece talks about the company's current marketing efforts and what Winnebago is doing to better promote its products to potential RV buyers. He also describes how the Internet and computers have shifted marketing away from predominantly print forms of communication to an emphasis on social media and websites. Sheila Davis talks about how Winnebago has changed during her tenure with the company, yet describes how much it remains a "small town company." She stresses the importance of public relations and what it has done to help Winnebago shape its brand and reputation. Read More »

Winnebago, Priority RV featured on Podcast 49

Winnebago, Priority RV featured on Podcast 49 (April 22, 2015) -- The first segment features an interview with Scott Degnan, the vice president of sales and brand development for Winnebago Industries. At the show, he reported on several new branding initiatives and partnerships with other firms, as well as an increase in market share for the company in 2015. The second segment features Corey Ruzicka is the executive director of the Priority RV Network and Katherine Brackett handles administrative and accounting functions. They talk about the dealer meeting as well as growth the network has experienced and why it is beneficial for RV dealers and consumers to be affiliated with the network. Read More »
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