(May 10, 2018) — Today’s guest is Mitul Chandrani, the senior marketing manager at Xantrex. The company makes inverters and battery chargers for the RV industry. He describes several of the firm’s flagship products, such as the Freeedom eGen and the Freedom X. He also explains how RVers can benefit from replacing a worn out inverter with an inverter charger to deliver even more power to their appliances and gadgets.
(May 3, 2018) — Today’s guest is Curt Yoder, the co-owner of Kropf Industries, a park model manufacturer based in Goshen, Ind.
Park models have gained a lot of attention in recent years as campgrounds have opted to convert RV spaces into cabins. And many seasonal RVers are opting to trade in their motorhome or towable to buy a park model. Yoder outlines the advantages of destination camping and explain how park models are meeting the needs of consumers and campgrounds.
(April 26, 2018) — This week’s guest is Eric Lawrence, the director of specialty products for Black Book, a company with its fingers on the pulse of the RV auction market. He talks about what Black Book does for the RV industry and shares some insight as to what’s happening this spring at RV auctions as well as how the prices have fared historically.
(April 20, 2018) — Today’s guest is Richard Robertson, the founder of #RV magazine, a brand new publication to the North American RV market. He has been publishing iMotorhome magazine in Australia for many years and discovered a void in the American market for quality content targeting younger, tech savvy RVers. Although the articles in his publication will appeal to a wide swath of RV users, Robertson’s online-only publication will have special appeal to non-traditional RVers.
(April 12, 2018) — This week’s guest is Mike Sokol, a trainer and consultant who works for RV Travel and also manages a unique website called the No Shock Zone to help RV owners better understand electrical systems on board their RVs. His mission is to help RV owners avoid what is called hot skin condition where the outside of the RV becomes electrified. Soktol offers tips on the types of equipment to provide better protection to RVers and their families as well as information they need to know to avoid expensive repairs caused by poor electrical hookups.
(April 5, 2018) — The guests this week are Steve Maldonado, the owner of Soul Ride Scooters, and Jason Edwards, the chief financial officer and co-owner of the company. Soul Ride produces a unique line of motorized scooters that fold up to the size of a bag of golf clubs and easily fit in an RV compartment. The scooters travel at 15 mph for 22 to 28 miles and recharge in just three or four hours. The scooters weigh 50 pounds, but can accommodate passengers up to 400 pounds. The guys explain how the scooters could be a profitable rental program for RV dealers and campgrounds.
(March 29, 2018) — Jan Kelly, an expert in finance and insurance, can help RV dealers sell F&I add-on products, but do so in a way that ensures they comply with the complex myriad of laws, rules and regulations that govern those products. She talks about how enforcement of the Military Lending Act is impacting RV dealerships, and she also describes how dealers can work to convert cash buyers into financed buyers to help both the buyer and the dealership.
(March 22, 2018) — This week’s guest is Jeff Polke, the cofounder of CGI Outdoors, a company that markets unique chairs, tables and other outdoor equipment. The firm just recently re-entered the RV market. CGI produces some rugged furniture that works on just about any terrain, and their rockers are extremely popular. The firm just introduced an innovative cook station to help chefs make great meals outdoors. The company sells products through a dealer direct network as well as online. Polke describes the benefits of its patented technology. He also offers some valid reasons for RV dealers and campgrounds to carry the products.
(March 15, 2018) — This week’s guest is Shelley Fugitt, one of the relatively new owners of the KOA campground near Carlsbad, N.M. She and her husband, James, bought the facility last year and manage it year-round with their three children. Fugitt explains why they decided to get out of pediatric oncology – or treating kids with cancer – and get into the campground industry instead. She explains why they settled on acquiring a KOA franchise versus a privately-owned campground. She also talks about what she learned at KOA University that has helped her prepare for the challenges she faced as new business owners who were brand new to the outdoor hospitality industry.
(March 8, 2018) — There are two guests for this week’s podcast. Kevin Wallenbach is the founder of RVing Planet and he is joined by Nate Morse, the director of RVing Planet. This relatively new consumer RV site is growing at a pretty good clip. The site provides information about RV products and the RV lifestyle specifically catering to consumers. They explain what RVing Planet is all about and why they built the site.
(March 1, 2018) — This week’s guest is Anthony Tedesco, who works for Show Managers LLC, a company located in Richmond, Va. He and his partner have almost 40 years of combined experience planning, organizing and promoting shows of all types, including RV shows. Tedesco describes the elements of a good RV show and explain what RV dealers and consumers can do to get the most of their RV show experience. He also talks about the upcoming Mid-Atlantic RV Show March 16 to 18 in Richmond, Va.
(Feb. 22, 2018) — This week’s guest is Josh Traxler, the chief operating officer of Campspot. The software goes beyond reservations management and online booking. It allows people to tack add-on services to their reservations, like golf carts, bikes, tickets and even food. Owners can also price each site individually based on location or amenities, with a price that fluctuates based on promotions, the season, demand or special events.
(Feb. 15, 2018) — This week’s guest is Laurie Leonard, who runs a start-up company in San Diego, Calif., to help pet owners who travel. She is the founder of MyPetRecordsOnline.com, a service that stores a pet’s medical records, including vaccination history, online so they can be accessed by another vet in an emergency situation, or even a campground looking to verify a current rabies shot. Leonard offers a variety of plans to accommodate any pet owner and is even willing to create a custom plan to meet unusual needs.
(Feb. 8, 2018) — This week’s guest is Phil Ingrassia, the president of the RV Dealers Association, who is promoting RVDA’s Annual Professional Certification Week that takes place this year from March 11 to 17. Ingrassia describes each of the areas where RVDA has developed professional certification. Right now it is limited to technicians and people working in fixed operations, such as parts management, warranty administration and service advisors.
(Jan. 25, 2018) — This week’s guest is Bert Alanko, president of MBA Insurance. The company specializes in offering rental insurance to RV dealers and private RV renters. The 2018 Rental School takes place Feb. 20 to 22 at the Tuscany Hotel in Las Vegas. The event has been a sellout every year for many years. Alanko explains why he started the rental school and describes some of the training that dealers and rental managers can expect out of the three-day classes. He also describes the instructors who provide the training and the companies who participate by offering products and services to streamline the rental operation.
(Jan. 17, 2018) — This week’s guest is Herb Gingold, the founder of RV Intelligence Products, a firm based in Longwood, Fla. He has developed a series of products, from simple to high-tech, designed to make the lives of RV owners easier. It might be as simple as a hitch pin leash to prevent people from losing the pins to the towbars, or a complex device that allows people to use a smartphone app to control their jacks, awnings, slideouts, cord reels and just about anything in an RV that has a motor.
(Jan. 11, 2018) — Charles Campbell is a senior instructor at the U.S. Compliance Academy, a company that helps dealership clients use online training and information sharing to navigate the alphabet soup of federal government agencies, and the regulations they enforce. The group offers a variety of live and online training courses to help dealers comply with requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act, Military Lending Act, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Trade Commission and others. The firm also helps dealers develop policy manuals and walk the tightrope of sexual harassment rules.
(Dec. 18, 2017) — This week’s guest is Terry Cooper, who is the new owner of RV Daily Report, but also the co-founder of the new National RV Training Academy. Cooper explains the goals and mission of the National RV Training Academy, describes its non-profit status, and outlines ways the RV industry can support the effort to train hundreds of technicians a year from its compound at a campground 90 minutes from Dallas. He also describes the hands-on training programs modeled after military tech courses.
(Dec. 14, 2017) — Episode 164 starts with an analysis of the new WAZE Consumer Satisfaction Index listing the Top 10 Best and Worst Cities for Driving in America. This week’s guest is Bob Zagami, the executive director of the New England RV Dealers Association. He started in the industry as a part-time freelance journalist for RV News back in the 1990s. Zagami comes on the show to talk about his experience at this year’s National RV Trade Show, and then addresses problems surrounding tech training at dealerships and finally offers predictions on the direction of the RV industry in general.
(Dec. 7, 2017) — This week’s guest is Karen Macdonald, the current owner of Macdonalds RV in Plainville, Mass., and the granddaughter of the man who founded the dealership. The dealership is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, which makes it likely the longest continuously running family owned RV dealership in America. Macdonald describes what the dealership was like when she started working there as a young girl who would be dropped off at the dealership by the school bus every afternoon. She provides a brief history of the company, but also describes some of the ways customers and products have changed over the last 70 years.