Top 50 Dealer Winners
2010 Blue Ribbon Award Recipients
Altmans Winnebago is based in Carson, California and has a full fleet of RVs for sale and rentals. New customers get a “Welcome to the Family” gift box full of camping supplies. They also treat their employees right, sponsoring certification and training; support their community through consistent donations and fundraiser participation; and help the industry with involvement in several trade groups. Its code of conduct is “To treat every visitor as an honored guest in our home – every day, every time, without fail, no exceptions.” That’s Altmans Winnebago.
Bill Plemmons RV World
Rural Hall, North Carolina is where you’ll find Bill Plemmons RV World, founded in 1951. They submitted a three-page list of awards they’ve been given starting in 1968, including nine awards already for 2010, like their region’s #1 KZ-RV dealer. They were also 2007’s RVDA Top Quality Dealer of the Year. How? It all comes back to their simple philosophy: We will out-service every other dealer, bar none. President Steve Plemmons says there is no greater joy than giving and helping people. Congratulations, Bill Plemmons RV World.
ArrKann RV in Edmonton, Alberta is a people-oriented business. Employees enjoy monthly “mixer” meetings where they interact and have team-building activities, and departments take turns hosting gatherings outside of work. A “value committee,” made up of one person from each department, meets once a month to select a Quarterly Value Champion to receive recognition and rewards. As a result, employees are seeking out ways to praise each other and are going the extra mile to help customers and each other. This along with their many charitable activities and sound business planning makes ArrKann RV one of our Blue Ribbon dealers.
Based in Kingston, New Hampshire, Campers Inn was founded after working man Art Hirsch went out to buy his family a camper in 1966 was disappointed by inattentive salesmen who just brushed off a blue-collar customer like him. Art figured he could do better in treating people with respect and fairness regardless of how deep their pockets were – and he was right. Today, the dealership has six locations in five states and still focuses on that customer respect. CEO Jeff Hirsch says they have “never let go of their dream” at Campers Inn.
Lazydays in Seffner, Florida is a big name in the business. We could justifiably go on about its training initiatives, facilities, awards, and much more. Today, let’s talk about its charitable efforts. The Lazydays Employee Foundation is a non-profit group that helps at-risk children in their community and is staffed solely by volunteers so every dollar can go directly to the children. Here’s a little more about the Foundation.
2010 Top 50 Award Recipients
Tennessee RV Sales & Service
Tennessee RV Sales & Service in Knoxville took the bull by the horns in 2009 with aggressive marketing programs, a new location dedicated to RV storage and rentals, a new in-house finance company and a mobile service department. That’s an example of successful initative at Tennessee RV.
ExploreUSA RV Supercenter
With eight locations across Texas, Plano-based ExploreUSA RV Supercenter works hard to ensure every customer experience is a positive one, because as CEO Scott Chaney says, each and every employee understands a satisfied customer on the road is another ambassador for ExploreUSA RV Supercenter.
Windish RV Center
Windish RV Center in Lakewood, Colorado was #1 in travel trailer and fifth-wheel sales in the state for 2009, and the nation’s top Fuzion dealer. General Manager Jim Humble says smart planning and positive attitudes turned a tough 2009 economy into a record-breaking sales year for Windish RV.
Alpin Haus in Amsterdam, New York has the motto, “Everyone is family in our Haus.” The dealership supports continuous employee improvement, growth and accountability; and President Andy Heck says ethics and integrity always provide a compass for decision making at Alpin Haus.
Apache Village RV Center
From Hazelwood, Missouri, Apache Village RV Center believes in walking the RVing talk, so all employees are encouraged to use company RVs for family trips. They say their enthusiasm and love of the business and RVing “radiate to the customer” at Apache Village RV Center.
Poulsbo RV in Kent, Washington focuses on continuing to improve in difficult times. COO Jim Elliott says it comes down to “grit:” Grit to start earlier and stay later, do what others are unwilling to do, make tough decisions and stand behind them. That’s the recipe for success at Poulsbo RV.
Little Dealer Little Prices
2009 was a busy year for Little Dealer Little Prices in Phoenix, Arizona. They moved into a new 70,000-square-foot flagship store with 21 service bays, all in pursuit of its mission “to delight our customers with superior value and caring service.. and improve the quality of life for our customers and ourselves.” That’s Little Dealer Little Prices.
PleasureLand RV Center
From St. Cloud, Minnesota, PleasureLand RV Center continues to prioritize charity work, like providing units for Minnesota’s Make-A-Wish Foundation and giving rental vacations for silent auctions. They also provide RVs for local law enforcement and fire departments to use as mobile command centers during emergencies, plus festivals and other community functions. They still follow CEO Dan Pearson’s father’s philosophy, “As long as you are honest with people and nice to people, you will always have a roof over your head and food on your table.” They’re good neighbors at PleasureLand RV.
Bucars RV Centre
Balzac, Alberta is home to Bucars RV Centre, the Calgary area’s first RV dealer. Established in 1959, it went from selling Shasta Travel Trailers to a full fleet of motorhomes and trailers, and is now one of western Canada’s largest RV dealerships. In 2009, the dealer of the year for Woodland Park, Breckenridge, and KZ-RV’s Western region was Bucars RV Centre.
Dodd RV from Portsmouth, Virginia has been the leading seller of new RVs in eastern Virginia for five years and is in the top five for the state. They provide live chat on their website to connect with shoppers, and buying customers are given special promotions and invited to exclusive invitation-only events. President Jamie Dodd says, “We’re honest in how we do business and we’re relationship builders” at Dodd RV.
Hilltop Trailer Sales
Hilltop Trailer Sales in Fridley, Minnesota is a third-generation family-run dealership. It’s been a Jayco Gold Circle dealer, a Skyline gold and platinum dealer, and a Coleman Circle of Excellence dealer. With their involvement in MRVDA and philosophy of employees thinking like managers and owners, it’s easy to see why one of our Top 50 is Hilltop Trailer Sales.
Steinbring Motorcoach is found in the tiny town of Garfield, Minnesota, population 281. But the dealership is big on service, being a five-time Newmar service award winner and receiving the Mahlon Miller Service Excellence Award for the highest Newmar CSI score in 2009. “Honesty, integrity and complete customer satisfaction” are their goals at Steinbring Motorcoach.
Mike Thompson’s RV Super Stores
With 108 service bays over four locations on 34 acres, Mike Thompson’s RV Super Stores based in Santa Fe Springs is one of the biggest names in RV sales in California. The dealership focused on lowering inventory during the downturn and carrying only high-quality products so it could the first in its area to buy new 2010 units in quantity. A long-term business model is the key to success for Mike Thompson’s RV.
Dusty’s Camper World
Dusty’s Camper World in Bartow, Florida gives customers the VIP treatment, recently hosting a black-tie event wherein the sales team dressed in tuxedos, valet parked, and served fine food. The “Dusty’s Difference” principle, established by founder Dusty Crum, means customers are treated as lifelong partners. Dusty was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame before his passing in 1999, and his philosophy carries on.
While all RV dealerships experience hardships from the economic downturn, Dusty’s took an additional hit when severe weather ravaged its lot this July, destroying or damaging 26 RVs and causing over a million dollars’ worth of damage. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and they’ve been able to start rebuilding. We wish the very best to Dusty’s Camper World.
Tom Johnson Camping Center
From Marion, North Carolina, Tom Johnson Camping Center is one of the largest RV dealerships in the U.S., selling pop-ups to Prevosts. It bears CSI awards from manufacturers like Newmar, Fleetwood and Winnebago, campgrounds and a rally park, hosts an annual Customer Appreciation Barbecue, participates in an enormous amount of charity work and community involvement – and has a long string of happy customers from Tom Johnson Camping Center.
Topper’s Camping Center
Next is Topper’s Camping Center from Waller, Texas. In addition to the dealership’s involvement in RVDA and other trade organizations, every employee in parts and service is RVIA/RVDA certified and participates in the Distance Learning programs provided by the Florida Trade Association. Top quality service is provided by Topper’s Camping Center.
Guaranty RV Supercenters
Guaranty RV Supercenters, based in Junction City, Oregon, is focused on capturing the market in their state, with an ongoing marketing plan covering all channels of communication and an emphasis on increasing website traffic to build leads and make direct sales. To use their words, “We sell good product and promote like hell” at Guaranty RV.
Greeneway RV Sales & Service
From Wisconsin Rapids, Greeneway RV Sales & Service was recognized as the largest fifth wheel dealer in the state last year, with owner Mick Ferkey receiving RVDA’s Chairman’s Service Award and spearheading a marketing task force to create scholarships for people to attend the RVDA convention. Education, training and service are a priority at Greeneway RV.
Richardson’s RV Centers
Riverside, California is home to Richardson’s RV Centers, who in 2009 was the #1 Jayco motorhome dealer and second largest overall Jayco dealer and third-largest Lance dealer in the United States. Group efforts to cut costs and stay positive made it all possible at Richardson’s RV Centers.
Driftwood RV Centers
Based in Clermont, New Jersey, Driftwood RV Centers not only sells and rents RVs and park models, but also runs a modern camping resort with over 750 sites and all the amenities. The dealership offers mobile service to many local campgrounds, gives buyers a two-night campground orientation, builds add-on rooms and decks for park models, and holds an annual RV Deal Days event with “Ask the Tech” seminars to help attendees with all maintenance and service questions. These initiatives and many others are why Driftwood RV is one of our Top 50 dealers.
Aberdeen RV Center
Aberdeen RV Center in Aberdeen, Mississippi goes out of its way to service customers, no matter where they’re from or what they need. The dealership has a service fast lane for emergency or transient customers, and parts permitting, they strive for a maximum two-hour turnaround. They’re avid campers themselves and enjoy making customers of campground neighbors at Aberdeen RV.
Beckley’s Camping Center
Beckley’s Camping Center in Thurmond, Maryland claims the title of the #1 RV dealer in the state since 2001 with over 275 awards since its founding in 1980. And they’re committed to being a good neighbor in tough times by keep community and charity involvement a priority. They say their business is to deliver fun at Beckley’s Camping Center.
For Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Aloha RV, it isn’t just a name – it’s a frame of mind. “Aloha” is an extension of gratitude and general goodwill, so they take that aloha attitude to the showroom, helping people remember why they love the open road and camping with their families. Their tagline is “Say aloha and get out of town!” at Aloha RV.
Coates RV Center
Columbus, Minnesota’s Coates RV Center prides itself on being “the Cabela’s of the RV business.” At RV shows, they offer photo ops on a camp scene set complete with life-size woodland creatures, and promote in-house events with specialized commercials featuring ice-fishing characters “Ole and Lena” – owners Mark and Sarah Coates in disguise. They just want customers to have fun, saying, “We want to be a part of building lasting family memories for our customers – after all, isn’t that REALLY what RVing is all about?” They’re having fun at Coates RV Center.
Curtis Trailers in Portland, Oregon managed to thrive in the recession by giving themselves a makeover, maintaining advertising, retaining service staff and increasing parts inventory, and as a result are actually ahead of their sales forecasts by 15%. Founded in 1948 by RV Hall of Famer Myron Curtis, this is Curtis Trailers.
In Pontiac, Illinois, Pontiac RV is focused on people – retaining all employees during the recession and working hard to lessen its impact on customers. They stood behind their products, even when it was on their own dime, and continued their charity work, stating community contributions are even more important in challenging economic times. It’s a family-run, civic-minded business at Pontiac RV.
Safford RV in Thornburg, Virginia got creative with their service department with a mobile service vehicle and an evening body repair service which operates three days a week from 5-11pm. It’s been so successful, they’re expanding its facility to keep up with demand. They also offer driving skills training and a military incentive program, making Safford RV unique in their area.
Capital RV Center
Capital RV Center is located in Bismarck, North Dakota and makes a point of treating all service customers as though they purchased at Capital, and are amazed at how many transients come back to buy their next RV because of that quality service. Maybe that’s why their CSI score averaged 97% over five years! That’s a lot of happy customers at Capital RV Center.
Dixie RV Superstore
From Newport News, Virginia, Dixie RV Superstore rode the tide of the recession by focusing heavily on insurance, outside service and custom repair work. Because of this, they showed a 100% yearly increase in their service department – twice! The service department is so successful, it can financially support the entire dealership at Dixie RV Superstore.
Boat N RV Superstores
Boat N RV Superstores in West Coxsackie, New York has four locations in four states. They’re in the process of designing their own exclusive brand of RV and building a campground in Tennessee, and in the meantime are staying innovative by exploring alternative fuel products and decorating stores like the beach, sand and all. They’re getting creative at Boat N RV Superstores.
Wilkins Recreational Vehicles
Founded in 1936 as an auto detail shop, Wilkins Recreational Vehicle in Bath, New York is proud of its people and its 50,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility, as well as its heavy involvement in trade groups, committee participation and helping develop certification programs. They believe in giving back to the industry that’s been good to them at Wilkins Recreational Vehicles.
Big Country RV
Big Country RV in Bend, Oregon is big on walking the talk. Its employees live the RV lifestyle and management participates in numerous RVDA groups at both local and national levels. And they continually increase the number of charitable organizations they help out in their community, actively seeking out more places they can help. Working to be a “good corporate citizen,” it’s Big Country RV.
Veurinks’ RV Center
From Grand Rapids, Michigan, Veurinks’ RV Center stays ahead by specializing in large service jobs. Their 40-foot service pit and chassis training allow them to do underbody work and engine service, even for commercial vehicles, limos and tour buses. They’re also well known for trouble-shooting satellite TV issues, servicing units all over the country, and their ExtremeRVmakeover.com division handles renovations from furniture to flooring to window treatments. And this May, a KZ RV parts and service award was bestowed on Veurinks’ RV Center.
Woody’s RV World
Woody’s RV World is based in Calgary, Alberta, with two other locations in Red Deer and Edmonton. It’s been named the Canadian RVDA Dealer of the Year, among other distinctions, and all shareholders have served with RVDA in many capacities over the years. They were an RVing pioneer in Canada and remain a customer favorite at Woody’s RV World.
Wausau, Wisconsin is where you’ll find Kings Campers, whose president Ron Gajewski said, “Like brothers and sisters, we sacrificed for each other” during tough times. Management actually took turns going without pay so employees could keep their jobs. This family-owned business says they’re still standing “Because we honestly care.” Congratulations to Kings Campers.
Carolina Coach & Camper
Carolina Coach & Camper in Claremont, North Carolina has a superstore customers won’t forget. With 18 acres and 3,000 feet of interstate frontage, they provide propane and dump service, wi-fi service and a pet exercise area, plus a full-service refreshment center with café seating inside. And with its A+ Better Business Bureau rating, customers appreciate super service at Carolina Coach & Camper.
American RV Sales & Service
Grand Rapids, Michigan is home to American RV Sales & Service, where customers can buy or rent any type of RV – or just store their RV or boat on site. They stock what they call “hero parts,” items that aren’t needed often, but may just save someone’s vacation plans in a clinch. They’ve got their customers covered at American RV.
Modern Trailer Sales
Modern Trailer Sales in Anderson, Indiana is a great example of a smaller dealership with big-time success. They picked up new recession-time products and services, such as paint and fabric protection and spray-in truck bed liners, to keep sales up. And to keep morale up, they kept every employee’s income and job stable. Surveys show a 99% “Excellent” rating among their customers. Looks like everybody is happy at Modern Trailer Sales!
Roy Robinson Motorhome & RV Center
In Marysville, Washington, Roy Robinson Motorhome & RV Center embraces continuing education – whether it’s through online training, outside sales and product seminars and workshops, whatever they can get. Sales manager Gary Morris says, “Learning is encouraged and rewarded, and we try to make it fun” at Roy Robinson RV Center.
Parkview RV Center
Parkview RV Center in Smyrna, Delaware apparently makes customers happy, because almost half of all their business between January and May this year was from repeat customers. It might be the customer training events they hold three times annually, or the service techs who are all certified, or charitable support for their community; but folks keep coming back to Parkview RV Center.
Mount Comfort RV
Mount Comfort RV in Greenfield, Indiana is actively involved in the industry, including RVIA, RVDA, local chambers of commerce, campground owners associations, and Newmar and Gulfstream’s Towable Council’ board of advisors. They’ve won numerous awards from trade and community groups and contribute to several local charities and programs. It’s a proactive environment at Mount Comfort RV.