(Jan. 29, 2015) — Wendland, who blogs about his experience at Roadtreking.com, offers dealers insight into the Class B market and to the types of people who appreciate traveling in smaller motorhomes. He describes the convenience of using his Roadtrek Class B and overcomes some of the popular myths that the units are too small for full-time living. Mark Koep, with CampgroundViews.com. and his family are traveling the nation creating short introductory videos for campgrounds and RV parks so that potential guests can see what the campground looks like before they make reservations. Koep explains why traffic to his website has increased considerably since the site was launched.
(Jan. 23, 2015) — This week’s guest is Chris Baum, CEO of Little Guy Worldwide, a manufacturer of tiny trailers and teardrop trailers. He describes the market for smaller towables and talks about why teardrops seem to have such a cult following among some consumers. He also offers ideas on ways RV dealers can tap into the growing consumer base of people looking for an inexpensive way to move from tent camping and sleeping on the ground into the RV lifestyle via these entry-level products.
(Jan. 15, 2015) — Lance Wilson, executive director of the Florida RV Trade Association, which sponsors the show, is the first guest. He talks about the record-setting opening day and why he thinks the show is so popular. He also talks about the association’s training effort and how dealers all over North America can tap into the program. The second guest is Walt Burns, from EasyCare. The company offers extended warranties and other F&I products to RV dealers, and he describes those in detail. But, he also talks about a new video messaging service that EasyCare offers to dealers that let them e-mail video messages to customers. This is a popular communications technique for sales and service applications.
(Jan. 8, 2015) — The first podcast of 2015 features an interview with John and Kathy Huggins, the founders of Living the RV Dream. The couple have been full-time RVing since 2005, and have developed quite an audience among RV owners and people thinking about getting into the RV lifestyle. The Huggins talk about their own experience on the road, as well as some important industry issues from an RV owner’s perspective — and it goes beyond product quality.
(Dec. 18, 2014) — The final podcast of 2014, episode 38, features two interviews from the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky. First up is Jeff Porter, the CEO of Velvac Corporation. The New Berlin, Wis., company is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2014, and is really making a push into the RV aftermarket to increase awareness among RV dealers about the firm’s driver safety products. Next up is Ryan Thomas, a salesperson for Blue Ox. The Pender, Neb., company hasn’t slowed down since the death of its founder, Jay Hesse, earlier this year. Ryan talks about the new Avail towbar and the company’s chassis performance package, which gives dealers a great product to sell to help RV owners better enjoy their driving and towing experiences.
(Dec. 17, 2014) — Guests on the show include Gerhard Hundsberger, president and CEO; Eldon Wood, vice president of sales and marketing; and Jutta Bringazi, public relations director. The trio discuss the company’s history, its plans for serving the American RV industry and the products being introduced at the National RV Trade Show.
(Dec. 11, 2014) — Gregg Fore, president of Dicor Products, kicks off the show by describing some of the more innovative products his company introduced at the show. Fore also talks about the Louisville show in general and its role in the industry. He’s got some frank advice for exhibitors who complain that nobody shows up at their booths. He applauds RVIA for introducing technician training to the show. Next up, Raymond Padgett, the principle at ARC Representation, explains how he came up with the idea to start the company and how he feels it will fill a unique niche in the aftermarket. His company will put boots on the ground at RV dealerships to teach dealers about specific products and help them market those products.
(Dec. 9, 2014) — Episode 35 features one interview with two online RV sales experts. Chris Mapson, the RV sales maximization specialist for RVT, and his colleague, data analyst Drew Clifton, talk about the company’s just released RV Market Report. The report looks at the online behavior of RV consumers, for which mobile device use has exploded with 32 percent of shoppers now using tablets and smartphones to access information about units available for sale. The most stunning disclosure, from an industry perspective, is that four out of 10 consumers report dealers don’t follow up on inquiries within 48 hours.
(Dec. 1, 2014) — One of the outdoor industry’s best marketing minds, Hedges talks about the explosion of interest in deluxe cabins as well as several new branding initiatives for KOA that include partnerships with RV industry groups, like Route 66 and Dometic. Curry, the founder of Tents for Troops, talks about an expansion plan he has launched to allow active duty military members free use recreation vehicles permanently parked at campgrounds.
(Nov. 26, 2014) — Ben Hirsch, who oversees the day-to-day operations of nine dealerships between Florida and New Hampshire, has been active in developing fast-track training opportunities to help develop younger leaders into well-rounded dealership managers. He talks about how the RVDA’s Young Executives Program was formed and how it is being received by the participants. Next up, Ed Thor, manager of RV services, and John Annichiarico, vice president of national sales for Vehicle Administrative Services (VAS) talk about their branded emergency roadside assistance programs being offered to dealers, manufacturers and associations.
(Nov. 20, 2014) — The first is with Dan Lopez, president of Coach-Net. The company is actively developing a nationwide dealer service network to support Coach-Net customers who need repair work quickly. The second interview is with Bill Thompson, director of recreational lending for Ally Finance. He is joined by Courtney Hennessey, a training consultant, who is helping the company create a professional development center for RV dealers.
(Nov. 13, 2014) — The video was so well received, the Polk’s launched RV Education 101 and eventually developed more than a dozen training videos for travel trailers, motorhomes and all the components on them. They have also developed a video series on how to restore an old travel trailer, and how they are creating instructional videos in partnership with some of the biggest supplier names in the RV industry.
(Oct. 30, 2014) — Episode 30 starts off with a brief description of the Workamper Rendezvous and the first-ever conference of the National RV Inspectors Association in Heber Springs, Ark. This week’s guests are Bill and Ralph Neff, owners of Neff Brothers RV in Lorain, Ohio. The company, which specializes in RV rentals, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The Neff Brothers describe how they decided to get into the RV rental business and what they do to promote and manage their operation.
(Oct. 14, 2014) — The first guest this week is Jim Mac, the marketing director for Keystone RV. Recorded at the Elkhart Open House in September, Mac talks about the history of the company and the open house as well as the work the company does to maintain solid dealer relationships. Mac also talks about the research that goes into developing new products as he describes some innovative floorplans being introduced this year. Next up is Ken Neuman, the vice president of sales and marketing for Protect All. While at the Pennsylvania RV Show in early September, Newman asked to come on the show to talk about the company’s line of easy-to-use RV cleaning products that create a solid profit center for RV dealers because of the versatility of the products.
(Oct. 7, 2014) — This week’s podcast starts with an interview with Andy Murray, the vice president of RV sales for Lippert Components. One of the fastest growing companies in the industry, Lippert is often on the buying end of an acquisition. The company builds multiple components for RV manufacturers. Murray describes the how the acquisitions will help grow the company and solidify its position in the RV industry. Next up is RV dealer Fran Roberts, owner of Longview RV in Windsor Locks, Conn. Roberts is a veteran of the RV industry who recently sold his Florida location to Camping World. Roberts describes the changes he has seen in the industry over his career.
(Oct. 2, 2014) — Scott Tuttle started Livin’ Lite RV in a garage several years ago. Today, it’s affiliated with Thor Industries and attaining national attention for its products, which are built without wood. Claude Donati developed a vision to create a direct-to-consumer RV manufacturing firm. Nexus RV is gaining prominence in the luxury RV market, despite having no dealer base to show and sell the motorhomes.
(Sept. 26, 2014) — Clark describes the basic business philosophy that forms the foundation for the 2-year-old RV manufacturing firm. Grand Design is making a huge wave in the RV industry because the company is set up to be very dealer-centered in its business approach. Clark also describes the new products the company has released this year, and he talks about plans for controlling future growth.
(Sept. 24, 2014) — Bob Martin, president and CEO of Thor Industries, talks about the Elkhart Open House and how it evolved into a powerhouse industry event. He also describes where the company is headed, the advantages of the firm’s autonomous structure that drives decision making to the product level, and where he sees the RV market in five to 10 years. Next, Walter Cannon, executive director of the RV Safety Education Foundation talks about his group’s safety initiatives to educate RV owners about proper weight capacity as well as fire, towing and carbon monoxide safety issues.
(Sept. 29, 2014) — This episode of RV Industry News features interviews with two women working in the RV industry. The first segment features Marcia Galvin, with Normandy Farms Campground in Foxborough, Mass., who is also the chairman of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. The second segment features Linda Mailhot, the co-owner of Seacoast RV in Saco, Maine, which is one of the largest park model dealerships in the nation specializing in mobile RV repair service.
(Sept. 15, 2014) — Skyline has gone through a rebirth this year, and RV Division President Don Emahiser describes how that impacts the company in terms of new product innovation and the markets it plans to reach. The second guest is Chris Dougherty, the former owner of RV Medics, who talks about the challenges faced by mobile technicians and how it can impact consumers from a lack of insurance coverage to the need for independents to become certified technicians.