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North Trail Hiring Service Veteran Steve Roddy

October 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Florida-based dealer North Trail RV Center has completed the first stage of  multimillion dollar, 75-acre expansion at the company’s site along the I-75 corridor in Fort Myers.

According to a press release, the renovated facility will offer over 70,000 square feet of buildings including a 21,000-square-foot sales center, covered service bays and work areas, motorhome express lube, 50-foot automatic motorhome wash. North Trail said that the new state-of-the-art facilities are being built to accommodate the growing demand for RVs and RV service during the winter months from local RVers and the influx of snowbirds.

As part of the expansion, North Trail reported jobs are being created and filled daily from entry level to key management positions, including industry veteran Steve Roddy as service manager. Roddy will be in charge of managing a team of technicians that will focus entirely on existing guest service as well as walk-in service needs. Derek Marks, service manager at North Trail for the last five years, will lead his team of technicians in preparing and servicing all new coaches for delivery to new North Trail RV Center guests.

Roddy, one of the founding instructors for the Florida RV Trade Association’s On-line Distance Learning Technician Training Program, will also be heading up a 40-week, in-house training series starting next month. Technicians will attend additional training sessions every week for 40 weeks in this program and at the end will be tested to obtain their RVIA/RVDA certification.

“This is an excellent way for North Trail to provide an even higher level of quality, consistent service to its guests and also will benefit these hardworking technicians by continuing their education and adding certifications to their credentials,” said Roddy.

With over 41 years experience in the RV business, Roddy has worked for RV manufacturers, as well as managed service departments for large, multilocation dealerships.

“We are very excited to welcome Steve Roddy to our service team here at our Ft. Myers location,” said Alan Erp, owner of North Trail RV Center. “This expansion, along with our top notch, dedicated staff is going to make North Trail RV Center and Southwest Florida an RV destination for the entire country. Our guests come here for the best inventory selection and high level of service that we provide. We will have the newest, cutting-edge equipment and facilities in the nation and we are excited about bringing on some of the industry’s most talented people to our team as well as discovering and training ambitious newcomers that are willing to learn and work hard towards a thriving future as part of the North Trail family.”

Growing from a five-person, mom-and-pop-business 26 years ago, North Trail RV Center has grown to include over 180 employees in three locations with sales exceeding $120 million dollars annually. For more information about North Trail RV Center or positions available, visit http://www.northtrailrv.com or call (888) 819-9973.

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North Trail RV Center Planning $15M Expansion

October 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

South Florida-based North Trail RV Center announced plans for a $15 million dollar expansion at its Fort Myers location. The company also operates a dealership in Fort Lauderdale and a separate collision center in Fort Myers.

According to a press release, expansion of the 80-plus acre ‘footprint’ will begin in late 2012. The state-of-the-art facility will include expanded sales and finance departments, service buildings and a parts “mega-store” that will total over 70,000 square feet of floor space under roof.

With areas set aside for rallies and events, the ‘destination’ dealership will be a one-of-a-kind for the area, according to North Trail RV Center. Plans also call for the hiring of an estimated 100 new workers. Currently, the dealer employs over 180 people at its three locations.

“North Trail RV Center is already very unique because RV owners can have all of their sales, finance, service, bodywork, tire and chassis needs met right here in one place,” says Alan Erp, president and founder. “We completed the expansion of our collision, chassis and tire center in 2011. We will be significantly increasing inventory, as well as our staff and we will also be featuring the newest, largest RV parts mega-store in Florida.”

North Trail RV Center said it has been the largest Newmar dealer for the past 10 years, and is the fastest growing ‘Top 5′ Tiffin dealer in the nation.

“We are very excited and eager to break ground,” says Erp. “North Trail RV Center will without a doubt be the newest, state-of-the-art, destination dealership in the country. We’ve created a ‘families serving families’ atmosphere at North Trail RV Center over the last 26 years that has made us so successful that we’ve more than outgrown our current facility. We are investing over $15 million dollars into this ‘destination’ dealership and South Florida.”

 

 

 

 

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North Trail RV Center Expands Collision Center

July 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

 

South Florida dealership expands collision center.

North Trail RV Center, South Florida’s largest RV dealer, quietly unveiled its luxury motorhome, state-of-the-art collision, chassis and tire center expansion late last year in the Billy Creek commerce center off I-75 at exit 139 in Fort Myers, Fla.

Adding nearly 30,000 square feet of covered work area, a brand new 60-foot down-draft bake oven paint booth, custom fabrication area and more, this facility is equipped to handle everything from road-force balancing on a semi-truck to custom matching paint jobs for RVs and their tow vehicles, according to a news release. Be it structural repairs, glass replacement, repairing all kinds of damage or winterizing or roof repairs, the North Trail RV Collision, Chassis and Tire Center does it all.

The in-house custom fabrication area and techniques allow for quicker repairs as less time is spent waiting for hard-to-find parts that North Trail can fabricate themselves. They also fabricate things like compartment doors, frame structures and more. With many RV manufacturers closing their doors permanently over the last few years during the recession, many of these materials and parts are simply not available anymore, which makes a fabrication department that much more critical to a true, full-service collision center.

Now an authorized Freightliner chassis repair center, North Trail RV Collision, Chassis and Tire Center accepts all insurances and also is a preferred direct repair facility for GMAC, Progressive and Nationwide.

Greg Reppert, the body shop director at North Trail RV Collision Center, has been upgrading and restructuring the facility and staff to truly become the ultimate destination in Florida for RV bodywork, paint, repairs and even complete overhauls.

“It’s taken a couple of years, but with the addition of around 10,000 square feet of covered work space and the state-of-the-art, down-draft, bake oven paint booth, we are able to service any and all large vehicles. Our tire center carries the best name brand tires and we are one of the only facilities in South Florida with Hunter Road Force Heavy Duty balancing equipment, and we are now an authorized Freightliner repair center.”

North Trail is a factory-authorized repair center for Newmar, Tiffin Motorhomes, Fleetwood, American Coach, Winnebago, Thor, Pleasure Way, Itasca, Keystone RV, Jayco and Monaco brands.

For more information, please visit http://www.northtrailrv.com or call (888) 819-9973.

 

 

 

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North Trail RV Center Sees Big 2010 Rebound

November 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

nt_logoRecreational vehicle and motorcoach sales are on an upswing in Florida’s Lee County.

The RV industry struggled through the downturn, but Tim Lowry, marketing manager for North Trail RV Center in Fort Myers, said sales are on the rise, the Fort Myers News-Press reported.

The Lee County RV dealer was hard hit in 2008, but the company started to see business pick up in the third quarter of 2009, even though about half of Florida’s RV dealers closed that year, Lowry said.

“The herd was thinned,” he said. “What happened is there was a lot of growth in the industry and the industry has always been give or take.”

Several RV manufacturers were producing very similar products and competing with each other and some dealers managed their businesses poorly, relying on sales to keep their doors open, he said.

But the big factors that drove the decline were credit availability and a drop in consumer confidence, said Kevin Broom, spokesman for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

Consumer confidence, while it’s still down, it isn’t dropping any further,” Broom said.

Through September, RV manufacturers have shipped 194,000 units, an increase of 59% from the same period in 2009, according to an RV association report released this month.

The same report shows shipments for the month of September totaled 16,700 units, a decline of 4% from the same month a year ago.

North Trail RV Center has grossed $73 million year-to-date compared to $42 million for the same period a year ago, said Alan Erp, company vice president.

Erp said mid-to-high-end recreational vehicles and motorcoaches — starting at about $75,000 and peaking at about $2 million — are the vehicles that increased sales.

He attributes North Trail’s growth to sticking with or adding product lines from leading manufacturers that have survived the downturn, such as Newmar Motorhomes and Tiffin Motorhomes.

Meanwhile, Robert Kohn, an independent consultant, is working with Signature Naples Motor Coach Resort on the high-end resort’s first sales campaign, which launched Nov. 1.

“We’ve taken in 11 reservations in the first 23 days,” he said.

The resort, located at 13300 Tamiami Trail E., has 184 spaces and sits on about 23 acres of beachfront property offering boating access, beach, lake and interior sites ranging from $89,000 to $250,000.

In 2009, Sunland RV Resorts based in La Jolla, Calif., and Morgan RV Resorts based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., bought the property at the courthouse steps and paid the full purchase price of the property, which allows them to set a fair price that is still a good deal, Kohn said.

“We have an incredibly stable platform for people buying here because there is no bank debt, which means there is no gun to the head of the developer,” he said.

Sales are up for the high-end motorcoach resorts, Kohn said, because of careful financial investment. Also, there is a shortage in RV resort property as many resorts were purchased by developers in 2004 and 2005 to build homes.

North Trail RV Center also adapted to meet customer needs through the downturn as sales slowed.

North Trail converted its dealership at the Billy Creek Commerce Center to a tire and collision center offering body shop services to fix wrecked units, a 60-foot paint booth and tire balancing for trucks and motor coaches.

It also expanded its operations and opened a second dealership in Fort Lauderdale in April.

“It was a necessity if we were going to be the kind of dealership we wanted to be and that people expected us to be,” Lowry said.

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Lazydays Names Tiffin its No. 1 2010 Dealer

August 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Tiffin Motorhomes logoLazydays in Seffner, Fla., has been named Tiffin Motorhomes’ No. 1 dealer for 2010. The Red Bay, Ala.-based  Class A motorhome manufacturer announced its top dealers today (Aug. 23) in a news release.

Lazydays opened in 1976 in a mobile home on a leased 1.75-acre lot with two travel trailers in inventory and $500 in capital. In 1996, Lazydays moved into its 126-acre SuperCenter, which has more than 1,000 motorized and towable RVs on display, 273 service bays and a 300-site RV park.

The other Top Tiffin Dealers for 2010 are Mike Thompson’s RV Super Stores in Sante Fe Springs, Cal.; La Mesa RV in San Diego, Cal.; North Trail RV Center in Fort Myers, Fla.;, Davis Motorhome Mart in Memphis, Tenn.; Horizon Lussier, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Bankston Motor Homes in Huntsville, Ala.; Dixie RV SuperStores, in Hammond, La.; Vogt RV Centers USA in Fort Worth, Texas; Colton RV in North Tonawanda, N.Y.; Marlin Ingram RV Center in Montgomery, Ala.; and Bucars RV Center in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Tiffin Motorhomes, founded in 1972, received one of three prestigious 2009 Quality Circle Awards presented by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) to Class A motorhome manufacturers for design, reliability, quality, value and competitive price.

Tiffin has earned the Quality Circle Award 11 of the 14 years it has been presented by the RVDA in connection with its Dealer Satisfaction Index. The 2009 survey included 1,644 brand ratings from 322 dealers. Quality Circle Awards are made to manufacturers receiving at least 15 dealer responses and scoring at least 80% in overall dealer satisfaction.

In addition to the consumer-related categories of the survey, Tiffin also was recognized with the Quality Circle Award for exemplary warranty, parts, sales and communications support to dealerships.

For additional information including dealer locations visit www.tiffinmotorhomes.com.

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Florida Dealer Now Carrying Tiffin Motorhomes

May 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

North Trail RV Center in Fort Myers, Fla., south Florida’s largest RV dealer, has become a Tiffin Motorhomes dealership.

“Tiffin is a wonderful match for us in terms of quality, value and customer service,”  Timothy Lowry, marketing manager for North Trail RV, said in a news release. The dealership has been in business since 1986. North Trail has more than $40 million in inventory and more than 100 employees.

“We are strong believers in campfire marketing,” Lowry added. “As RVers travel the country they meet and mingle. When RVers talk about their experiences with our dealership, we want them to have only good things to say about us. We listen to our guests and they all know how great Tiffin products are and what a great company Tiffin is.”

North Trail has two locations in Florida: Fort Myers on the southwest coast and Margate near Fort Lauderdale on the east coast. The main location in Fort Myers has a complete service department staffed with factory-trained and Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA)-certified technicians along with parts and accessories departments. North Trail also has a full-service collision center, tire center, chassis shop and RV storage lot just three miles south of the Fort Myers facility.

Tiffin received one of four coveted Quality Circle Awards presented by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) to Class A manufacturers in 2008 for design, reliability, quality, value and competitive price.

Tiffin has earned the Quality Circle Award 10 of the 13 years it has been presented by the RVDA in connection with its Dealer Satisfaction Index. The 2008 survey included 2,547 brand ratings from 468 dealers.

In addition to the consumer-related categories of the survey, Tiffin also was recognized with the Quality Circle Award for exemplary warranty, parts, sales and communications support to dealerships.

“Al and Alan Erp, as a father and son ownership team, have developed a super reputation for customer care, much like the Tiffin family,” observed Tiffin National Sales Manager Jerry Williamson. “South Florida is such a mecca for RVers, including full-timers, snowbirds and vacationers. We are excited about working with North Trail as it builds its presence on both coasts of the Sunshine State.”

Tiffin produces gas- and diesel-powered motorhomes in five model lines: Allegro, Allegro Bay, Phaeton, Allegro Bus and Zephyr, available through a network of dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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