OPINION: RV dealers embrace video, but should they?

(June 5, 2015) — There is no question that video is a powerful way to communicate a message because it combines voice, music and sound to tell a compelling story, tug at emotion and entice people to act. But, just because some consultant proclaims that video is essential does not mean that the message he or she creates is worthy.

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OPINION: RVIA events boost the RV industry

(May 26, 2015) –The annual meeting is a fantastic opportunity to introduce your company’s future leadership to RVIA and to meet influential leaders of the industry. Committee Week is the first step in the process that determines where, why and how association funds will be invested to advance the RV industry.

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OPINION: Here we go again. State parks used as political pawns

(May 20, 2015) — Get out and enjoy your state and federal parks this summer because when the next financial downturn arrives, which will be in a year or two (probably after the presidential election), the opportunities for people who really fund public recreation sites to actually use them, will be drastically limited for many years.

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OPINION: Is it time to deploy secret shoppers?

(May 20, 2015) — At least with baby boomers, store managers had a chance to resolve a bad experience. If a problem occurs, millennials generally won’t give the business owner or manager the chance to do it right. In an era of changing paradigms, I would think RV dealers and campground owners would want to know how their business is being perceived by real people.

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OPINION: Dear RV dealer, here’s why you lost a sale

(May 18, 2015) — It had been five years since our last fifth wheel purchase, and we had forgotten how stressful it can be to play the buying game. We just wanted an up-front, honest dealer from which to purchase the RV. We wanted no games, no manipulation, and no lies. Finding one was harder than we thought it would be, and in retrospect, this is why we didn’t purchase from you.

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OPINION: Wynns’ column paints unflattering portrait of RV sales

(May 6, 2015) — The Wynns dissect industry secrets regarding overinflated manufacturers suggested retail prices, spiffs offered to move certain RVs, and scare tactics employed by RV salespeople to convince people to buy from a particular dealership. While the Wynns’ column alone is enough to give RV dealers serious constipation, it’s the comments posted afterward that should keep them up at night.

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OPINION: Why aren’t RVs ‘sale ready’ on dealer lots?

(May 6, 2015) — Imagine going to a local Cadillac dealer and being told, “if you buy this vehicle today, we’ll fix this scratch and replace this knob.” Auto dealers realize that their vehicles must be “sale ready” before a customer sees them. Why can’t RV dealers do the same?

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OPINION: NERVDA goes outside-the-box to display RVs

(May 5, 2015) — Just as dealers are seeking ways to get people into an RV, stores like Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shop, Gander Mountain and a host of regional outdoor retailers are seeking unique ways to entice people into their stores. This is a win-win for both RV dealers and outdoor retailers

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OPINION: Mobilegeddon is here. Is your business ready?

(April 30, 2015) — If you haven’t converted your site to being mobile friendly, you need to start now. This isn’t just about your rankings on Google, although they will be significantly effected if you don’t have a mobile site. Its about your customers and potential customers.

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OPINION: Don’t be an idiot — own your domain

(April 28, 2015) — If the domain was tied to an existing business, TRUST ME, it will be bought and offered back to the business for thousands of dollars. The dealer has the option to pay the thousands to get the domain back or go through the headache of buying a new domain, building a new website and educating his customers where to find it online.

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The ‘quiet company’ offers lesson in PR 101

(April 10, 2015) — Other companies watching the Forest River situation unfold may appreciate a lesson in Public Relations 101. Public relations differs significantly from marketing, yet many companies think they are one in the same. Wrong. Marketing is about the sale, while public relations is about the message and reputation.

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Opinion: Is Lemonis threatening to withdraw business from Indiana?

(April 2, 2015) — “While I own businesses in Indiana today, I’m sorry to say that right now, putting more of my money and effort into state (sic) that would even consider an idea that people could be alienated, discriminated against or judged just doesn’t sit right with me,” Lemonis posted to Facebook.

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Opinion: Has it really been six years?

(April 1, 2015) — We’re still here, 72 months later, publishing nearly 600 stories a month. Some days I climb out of bed feeling like Fred the Baker at Dunkin Donuts, who would wake up day after day and sleepily declare it’s “time to make the donuts.” Then there are days that I read about the adventures people enjoy in their RVs, and share in the memories they are making with friends and family. That inspires me to keep on reporting what’s going on in an industry that means so much to so many people.

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Opinion: Will Walmart ‘camping’ become thing of the past?

(March 25, 2014) — Walmart is a great place for getting groceries and other supplies at very reasonable prices. I am a near-exclusive Walmart shopper when traveling. And I can absolutely see the value in people who travel long distances in short periods of time pulling into a Walmart after dark to catch some rest before moving on in the morning. But, Walmart is not a campground.

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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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