Harold Daumont of Terrace, British Columbia, didn’t think he would be making a business when he fashioned an aluminum and cloth frame for his RV, according to the Terrace Standard.
But after hours of work and sleepless nights, and some help from friends, Daumont is launching a more sophisticated version of the prototype he made in his backyard shop two years ago.
His company, Easy RV Storage System Inc., specializes in making a collapsible, removable frame and cover that fits onto an RV’s roof for simple storage and protects the RV from the elements.
“I got tired of paying storage for two trailers,” Daumont said, explaining that he originally made the frame to store his two trailers. If he hadn’t, he would have to rent storage space or leave them outside and risk rust and damage.
He and business partner, Wade Muchowski, an RV technician, designed the frame and hired local seamstress Carol Boudais to sew and design the cover.
“It’s easily adaptable to any style of RV,” Daumont said.
Daumont couldn’t find anyone else making a similar product, so he went to local inventor Scott Walter for some advice for his first invention and business venture.
“It’s been a long process of perfecting it to get the material right,” Daumont said, adding that he and Muchowski have been testing out the structure for the last couple of years. They are also using polypropylene material to ensure the cover is waterproof and not subject to mould.
“It’s finally perfected to what we’re happy with,” Daumont said.
They have gone through the patenting process and are just now launching the product for the first time this year.
The storage systems are being manufactured in China and the first containers are scheduled to come through the Prince Rupert port soon.
As it will be sold through RV shops and distributors, Daumont is keeping the office in his basement and may use a storage area to hold extra products.
Daumont, previously a sales manager at Norbird RV, decided to dedicate all his time to this company eight months ago. He said the gamble paid off, and the RV storage system is being well received.
The business won the local chamber of commerce 2009 Technology Innovator award and the two have just finished talking to major RV distributors about carrying their storage system.
“It was a lot of work, a big learning curve, a lot of worry, but it’s going to be worth it,” Daumont said. Although Daumont and Muchowski are business partners, there are two other silent partners in the company.
The two-year plan is to bring an assembly plant here in Terrace, which would create some jobs and ensure that the products sold in Canada are Canadian-made. The long-term plan is to have an aluminum extrusion plant here, which would cut down on transportation and time; the aluminum is currently being bought at Alcan, shipped to China, with the finished product being shipped here.