Opinion

What does it really cost to accept credit cards at Wells Fargo?

(March 20, 2015) — The page-after-page-after-page-after-page of additional fees for processing credit cards left me with one question — What the heck is it going to cost to actually process a credit card with Wells Fargo? Is it 0.99 percent, or 0.99 percent plus 0.2 percent, or 0.99 percent plus 0.2 percent plus one or more of the bazillion other fees?

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Lemonis feels lucky — and he should

(March 18, 2015) — Lemonis is lucky in that I don’t know of any publicly-traded company that would allow its chief executive officer to gallivant all over the country filming television episodes where the spotlight is on him alone and the company barely warrants a mention, if at all.

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Can campgrounds advertise Wi-Fi if it doesn’t work?

(Jan. 30, 2015) — I can assure campground owners that dissatisfaction regarding wireless service will only grow as the Internet is not going away. I urge the outdoor hospitality industry to develop a wireless service standard which campgrounds and RV parks must meet in order to advertise the availability of wireless service. Failure to do so only invites government intervention over deceptive advertising.

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Cruising is a major competitor to RVing

(Jan. 5, 2015) — During the break, I took my first cruise aboard the Norwegian Sun. If RVing were to have a serious competitor, cruising would be it. For less than $900, I got seven nights of pampering with some exceptional food, beautiful scenery and plenty of memorable activities.

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It’s a Wonderful Life shows the true meaning of Christmas

(Dec. 19, 2014) — This Christmas, pause and reflect for a moment about all the people you have touched during your life. I’ll bet there are one or two people who are grateful that you were born because your life made a tremendous difference in theirs — even if they don’t know who you are or remember what you did, as is the case of the two children mentioned earlier.

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Social media: Where frustrated customers go to vent

(Nov. 25, 2014) — Imagine all the marketing dollars it took Go RVing and a major multi-location RV rental company to encourage just one family to rent an RV for a “dream vacation.” Now imagine how quickly all that good will evaporated, and the marketing message was erased and replaced with people recounting this poor guy’s experience.

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Filling big shoes, building unity, making dreams come true

(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.

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The Marcus Lemonis Halloween costume?

(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.

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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.

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Doug Gaeddert

RVIA chair reflects on fun, friends, time flying by

(Sept. 11, 2014) — I turned 55 on Aug. 22, so not only do I find myself reflecting on the past two years as chairman of RVIA this morning, but on the last 33 years of involvement in the RV and housing industries, and frankly on life in general.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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