(April 20, 2017) — This week’s guest is a Tom Wirth, a senior vice president at Huntington Bank, who oversees a growing organization that’s serving more than 1,400 marine and RV dealerships across 26 states in the Midwest and southeast. He describes the scope of service the bank can provide to RV dealers, and explains how its recent merger with FirstMerit Bank will impact the industry. He offers compelling perspective on the RV and marine finance industry and where the industries themselves are heading, as well as the challenges, innovations and trends experienced in the dealer service arena.
(May 11, 2017) — Today’s guest is Wayne Brubaker, the founder of RV Ad Pros. He is embracing video as a way for dealers to tell stories that consumers love to watch. He recently attended the Digital Dealer Conference and provides some interesting feedback about new trends in digital advertising and social media, as well as how consumers are engaging businesses online rather than face-to-face.
(May 4, 2017) — This week’s guest is Spencer Cavins, the director of dealer solutions for Wheelbase, a company based in San Francisco that provides software RV rental dealers need to run their businesses. He explains why most RV rental management software has not been web-enabled and why it often lacks key features and other components, like mobile applications, that make it more difficult for rental dealers to manage their fleets. He describes how the idea for Wheelbase came about and how it can be used to embrace the rapidly emerging private rental business. He spends some time talking about the sharing economy and how millennials are big into sharing RVs rather than owning them.
(April 7, 2017) — This week’s guest is Scott Willingham, vice president and partner at MindWire. Many companies have likely hired what a manager suspected was going to be an incredible fit for the organization based on words appearing in a resume and how the person conducted himself or herself in an interview, only to find out that it was all fluff and marketing. The behavioral science and workforce analytics provided by MindWire cuts through all the spit and polish to give a snapshot into the way a person is hardwired to think and behave.
(March 24, 2017) — Schaeffer explores the concept of yield management and how it can help campground owners better manage supply and demand to make more consistent revenue year round. He suggests that campgrounds look at each site and it amenities — be it shade, large space, patio, probability of noise, etc. – and then set pricing for that site accordingly. He addresses new legislation prohibiting discrimination based on a criminal record, and explains why campgrounds are being scrutinized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
(March 17, 2017) — This week’s guest is Evanne Schmarder, a serial entrepreneur working in the RV industry as the founder of Roadabode Productions. Her latest project involved a survey of companies in the outdoor hospitality industry to produce the 2017 Digital Marketing Benchmark Study. This is the second in a series of reports that takes an in-depth look at how RV business are planning their online marketing programs by utilizing digital marketing and social media channels – and measuring their results. The study even examined the role video plays in marketing the outdoor experience.
(March 9, 2017) — Author and public speaker Kary Oberbrunner comes on the show this week to talk about his books, many of which are targeted toward helping people either become more productive or find out where their passions lie so they can become more engaged in their businesses and careers. His most recent book, Elixir Project, dives into an interesting concept that people can get hacked. They can start off with dreams and goals or plans to accomplish big things, but they allow themselves to get hacked along the way either through distraction or focusing on urgent matters rather than essential tasks.
(March 1, 2017) — This week’s guest is Ryan Feyer, the marketing manager for Air Lift Company, which has been producing air spring suspensions in the RV industry for many years. At the National RV Trade Show last year, the company introduced a LoadLifter 7500 ultimate spring kit that delivers 7,500 pounds of load-leveling capacity in addition to an internal jounce bumper. All of this is designed to make towing an RV much easier. Feyer explains how air suspension works when towing RVs and what the company does to specifically engineer the equipment to work on a variety of trucks.
(March 2, 2017) — Today’s guest is Jason Buckles, with BOLT, a unique company that makes locks which allow people to use their car keys to open the locks. That means RVers don’t need a half-dozen keys for their hitch locks, cable locks and padlocks. They just insert their car key, twist it and it sets the tumblers to match.
(Feb. 23, 2017) — Steve Guillaume, the president of Spartan Specialty Vehicles, is featured on Podcast 127 of RV Industry News. His company introduced some revolutionary technology at the Tampa RV Supershow in January. Called the Spartan Advanced Protection System, it incorporates radar-based collision mitigation, electronic stability control, adaptive cruise control and Spartan’s Safe Haul proprietary air braking to make a safer motorhome chassis.
(Feb. 2, 2017) — The show features an interview with Courtney Aurillo, the owner of MILE Social, a company that helps RV dealers and campgrounds with their social media presence. Her firm can ensure that Facebook feeds and business pages remain free of divisive commentary. he MILE Social team will help business owners post unique content to blogs and multiple social media platforms – content that gets read AND shared. They’ll help make sure the website is compliant with new Google requirements for speed, efficiency and security. They can handle social media advertising and even help with reputation management.
(Jan. 26, 2017) — Jan Kelly is one of the RV industry’s most revered trainers when it comes to finance and insurance rules and sales. She recently accepted a position at Newcoast Financial. She comes on the show to explain how Newcoast may be a good source for funding for some trickier loans. What’s a tricky loan? People with higher loan to value on an RV that is being traded in, or perhaps there is a problem in the credit report with a settled real estate issue. Maybe the borrower owns a business, but the bank won’t include pass through income from the company in determining debt to income ratio. Newcoast is not a sub-prime lender, she explains. Rather the firm helps qualify people with good credit who have unusual circumstances.
(Jan. 19, 2017) — This week’s guest is another “girl camper” of sorts. Jeannine Patané is the founder of RV Compass, a company that helps orchestrate RV rallies across the country. She is also in the process of authoring a book about upscale living in a recreation vehicle. She lives and works from a 13-foot Scamp towable, and much of her niche has been planning events for people who own smaller fiberglass campers, but she’s looking to expand that.
(Jan. 12, 2017) — Warren McCrickard is the vice president of sales for Infinity Woven Products. Headquartered in Dalton, Ga., Infinity has introduced a flooring product that can be found in some of the RVs coming out this model year. he company calls it a luxury woven vinyl and it’s a canvas-type product that can be applied to flooring or used in awning construction as well. It is made to withstand pretty heavy use and it includes ultraviolet fading protection. It’s also warranted for 10 years. Infinity Woven Products has a big presence in the yacht and marine market, and the firm is trying to expand its presence in the RV industry, too.
(Jan. 9, 2017) — This week’s guest is Bill Koster, the vice president of specialty products at Protective. Protective celebrates its 25th anniversary this year of its endorsement by the RV Dealers Association of the Xtra Ride extended warranty. He describes the Xtra Ride program and explains why RV dealers need to be offering extended warranties to customers. Koster also explains part of the process that goes into having a product or service endorsed by the RV Dealers Association – and it’s not just simply signing a check to get the endorsement.
(Dec. 9, 2016) — Janine Pettit is the founder of Girl Camper, an organization that seeks to provide resources for women who want to buy and use RVs, and to live a mobile lifestyle in full confidence. Janine is very careful to note there is a huge difference between glamping – glamorous camping – and girl camping. Some girl campers like to camp in luxury, but many others prefer a scaled back, more simple lifestyle where they can experience the outdoors and travel.
(Nov. 23, 2016) — Coleman offers an update on the membership of RVillage, which as of today numbers 53,173 people. He also explains the different membership levels currently being offered. RVillage just opened a new display at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, and he explains how that came about. But, he also outlines new programs to expand the RVillage marketplace, which will be of interest to RV dealers, suppliers, manufacturers and campgrounds, too.
(Nov. 17, 2016) — Maintain My RV allows owners – or an RV dealer – to enter all the vehicle information once. Then it sends reminder alerts when it is time to complete some type of maintenance. It automatically knows the recommended maintenance items and schedule for all major RV manufacturers and component suppliers. It works whether people own a motorhome or a towable. RV dealers can use it to help maintain RV rental fleets.
(Nov. 2, 2016) — Today’s guest is Tom Johnson, the president and co-founder of JG Lubricant Services. He talks about how his company can really help RV dealers and mobile technicians better serve their customers by using fluid analysis to show the actual condition of an engine or transmission. What makes this interview special is that he’s going to explain the results of a fluid analysis that had been completed on RV Daily Report Editor Greg Gerber’s motorhome in late August. He uses those results to describe what the reports can indicate about the condition of a motorhome, or any vehicle for that matter.
(Oct. 27, 2016) — Jeff Gaston is the founder of My RV School. His network of instructors provides behind-the-wheel training, assistance in hooking up either tow cars or to tow vehicles. He’s planning to develop a mobile training classroom to take to rallies, campgrounds and even RV dealerships. Recently, he started offering RV weighing services, too. Allen Gingrich, the founder of RV Safe T, which is headquartered in York, Pa. For 10 years he’s been providing instruction to help people get commercial drivers licenses and he recently started offering RV training throughout New England. He’ll personally travel anywhere to provide education using the students’ own RVs in their own communities. He’ll even escort people to their driver’s exams in states that require specialized licenses.