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RV Industry News with Greg Gerber

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Through interviews with leaders and key players in the recreation vehicle industry, RV Industry News explores the critical issues facing RV dealers, manufacturers, suppliers and campground owners.

Through interviews with leaders and key players in the recreation vehicle industry, RV Industry News explores the critical issues facing RV dealers, manufacturers, suppliers and campground owners.
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Through interviews with leaders and key players in the recreation vehicle industry, RV Industry News explores the critical issues facing RV dealers, manufacturers, suppliers and campground owners.




Bob Zagami discusses a variety of industry issues on Podcast 249 – RVDR’s final show

Bob Zagami provides an update on the New England RV market. Then he explores the critical shortage of RV technicians and RV industry training in general. He offers reasons why the industry needs to give serious consideration to turning the Elkhart Open House into the industry’s premier trade show event. Source


KPA’s Eric Schmitz describes compliance help for dealers in Podcast 248

Eric Schmitz describes what KPA is and the types of services it offers to RV dealers and other businesses. The firm offers software to assist dealers in compliance, but also provides on-site personal services, including audits to help reduce dealer risks and ensure they stay on top of various laws. The free webinars are generally focused on environmental health and safety, human resources, risk management, finance and insurance compliance, and sales issues. Source


Evanne Schmarder talks digital marketing on Podcast 247

Evanne Schmarder, author of the new book Marketing Your RV Park or Campground Online, talks about social media myths and some of the biggest mistakes business owners are making when using social media platforms. She also explains why branding is more than just developing and using a logo. She describes a tip that helps business owners visualize who their ideal customers are so that they can craft specific messages to reach them. Source


PRVCA’s Heather Leach talks about 2019 Hershey Show Industry Days on Podcast 246

Today’s guest is Heather Leach, the executive director of the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association. The group plans one of the largest consumer shows in America, which takes place just after Labor Day every September at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. However, many in the RV industry may not realize that the show starts with two days of activities dedicated to an industry audience. Source


Tom Johnson discusses communicating effectively in Podcast 245

Tom Johnson, a program manager at National Automotive Experts, is also a John Maxwell certified speaker and trainer. We discuss the highlights of Maxwell’s book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.” Communicating can’t be about us and our needs. We need to focus on the people we are talking to. We aren’t selling products or ideas, we are alleviated pain points in the lives of others, or helping by increasing their pleasure. Source


Podcast 244 features Joel Holland from Harvest Hosts

Joel Holland, is the owner of Harvest Hosts, a network of more than 1,000 farms, wineries, museums, breweries and other out-of-the way places where people can spend the night for free. It is highly recommended that guests spend some money buying something from the hosts, whether it is farm produce, baked goods, wine or a meal in the café. The average spent is around $20. Source


Gigi Stetler describes The RV Advisor in Podcast 243

Some questions are more serious than others, so it’s not often the best idea to seek advice from anonymous people on social media. That’s where getting professional advice can be a really good idea. The cornerstones of the service provided by The RV Advisor are advocacy, community, education, resources and rewards. Gigi Stetler is establishing a network of independent, knowledgeable people around the country who can also provide practical advice. Source


Bob Hansen talks about pets and playgrounds on Podcast 242

Bob Hansen, with Pet & Playground, describes options campgrounds have when it comes to designing unique, marketable play and exercise areas for families camping with pets and children. The firm helps campgrounds move from being "pet friendly" or "child friendly" to creating an environment that conveys an opportunity for every member of a family to have an enjoyable experience. The firm also helps campgrounds create common areas and premium patio sites. Source


Author John Hebard reveals marriage-saving tactic on Campfire Connection

Today’s guest is John Hebard, an RVer from Kansas City who took an unusual route to save a troubled marriage. Rather than separating, he and his wife, Laura, bought and RV and started traveling the country together. During the process, they rediscovered what made them fall in love in the first place. They also got to experience some memorable adventures along the way. So, rather than becoming another divorce statistic, the Hebards decided on a plan that was quite-possibly the most insane...


Jim Pelley talks about humor at work, making better presentations in Podcast 241

Jim Pelley is a consultant, advisor and motivational speaker who helps companies improve sales and customer service. He’s founded LaughterWorks.com. He is often called to address people who are employed at making big ticket sales. Jim likes to stress is that salespeople need to be mindful of the types of questions they ask during the sales process. He also offers good insight regarding how complaints are really a good thing for a company. Source


Attorney, CPA Mark Kohler talks about RV-based businesses on Campfire Connection

Mark Kohler is an attorney and CPA who works with RV-based businesses around the country. He describes some overlooked tax deductions as well as some red flags that draw scrutiny to an RV-based company. He offers suggestions on selecting a domicile, and discusses the challenges of paying sales tax. Source


Podcast 240 features SureShade awnings

This week’s guest is Dana Russikoff, the business leader and co-founder of SureShade, a new type of awning making its way into the RV industry. The awning was developed for the boating industry and is being adapted for RV use. By using a unique structure that includes cross-member supports, it is super strong and can withstand winds up to 55 miles per hour. The awning uses a telescoping system that is mounted to the roof. It offers a choice of fabric colors and comes with a three-year...


In Podcast 239, Derrick Crandall addresses kids, technology and the outdoors

An advocate for getting families to spend more time outdoors, Derrick Crandall offers ideas on ways to incorporate technology with outdoor adventure. He believes managed technology can supplement active outdoor fun, and he describes the new Agents of Discovery augmented reality game. He also has ideas on how businesses can encourage families to spend more time outside. Source


From the archives: Podcast interview with John and Kathy Huggins

This podcast, which was originally released in January 2015, remains one of the most listened to episodes RV Daily Report has ever produced. It is being re-released as a Campfire Connection episode. It features an interview with John and Kathy Huggins, the founders of Living the RV Dream, who had been full-time RVing since 2005. They founded one of the most dynamic online communities of RV enthusiasts. Source


Hipcamp CEO Alyssa Ravasio outlines a new way to camp on Podcast 238

The guest today is Alyssa Ravasio, the CEO of Hipcamp, a company that connects folks who like to camp with people and businesses with space to accommodate RVs. The site boasts having 300,000 campsites, ranches, vineyards, RV parks and public parks among its mix of host sites. She describes the requirements to be a host and what services need to be provided when it comes to power, restrooms, water, sewer and insurance – and whether they are required at all. Source


Roger Krinic explains how SoftStart helps start RV air conditioners in Podcast 237

This week’s guest is Roger Krinic, an engineer with Micro-Air, who helped design the EasyStart system that starts RV air conditioners even on a limited power source, like a portable generator or inverter. He explains how the EasyStart works and describes how the device makes it possible for RVers to enjoy air conditioning, even in boondocking situations. The device is also helpful in starting two RV air conditioners on a 30-amp power supply. Source


Randy Fisher explains RV sales process in Episode 2 of Campfire Connection

There is a seven-step sales process that dealers generally follow that starts with the meet and greet, continues through the product presentation and demonstration, and culminates with the close. Randy describes each of the seven steps in details to help consumers understand what to expect along the way so they aren’t caught off guard when the salesperson seems to be guiding them toward a specific action. Source


Torklift’s Jack Kay describes opportunities in Podcast 236

Jack Kay, the CEO of Torklift, believes that opportunity in the RV industry is unlimited. All it takes is for companies to listen to what people are actually saying bugs them about products or verbalizing what they wish existed – and then go about making it a reality. He recognizes that even though Torklift is an American company that makes its products in America, if RV companies don’t work to disrupt themselves, then others will come in and shake things up anyway. That’s the power of a...


Mark Douglass warns campgrounds, dealers about ADA accessibility on Podcast 235

Mark Douglass, the founder of RVing Accessibility, has a compelling story to share as someone who was once confined to a wheelchair. As a result, he is an expert in the intent of the law, and the mechanics of how businesses need to make their facilities accessible to people of all abilities. Mark explains just how big a problem it is for the RV and outdoor hospitality industries, and he describes some common issues business owners face because they either aren’t aware of the law or think it...


Sparkspace founder explains how to conduct effective meetings in Podcast 234

This week’s guest is Mark Henson, the founder of Sparkspace, an event center in Columbus, Ohio. He is an expert at facilitating meetings by getting people to communicate with each other. He offers some tips on how to get people talking face to face so they build meaningful relationships while sharing ideas. He also outlines some of the necessary steps to conduct productive meetings. Source