April '14

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rv-pro.com April 2014 • RV PRo • 79 78 • RV PRo • April 2014 rv-pro.com the time of year, undercutting the competition on price is generally the least effective business strategy, the three instructors agreed. "You never want to offer the cheapest prices; you want to offer the best experience," Raye said. Let other businesses compete for low-paying customers, as those customers may be more trouble than they are worth, the instructors agreed. Countering the idea that price is the driving factor on whether potential customers will choose to rent from him or not, Onken said, "When (customers) ask: 'What are you going to give me?' I respond: 'A great experience." He noted that his business offers customers the opportunity to rent a plethora of items to enhance their RVing experience, including a portable generator, a bike rack, camp chairs, cots, a portable satellite dish, a GPS device, a portable safe, a popcorn popper, an Xbox gaming system, and even a telescope. In many cases, his business already owns those items, but in some cases, like with telescopes, he will rent them from a third party if the customers want them and are willing to pay for them. It's all about providing customers with "whatever helps them have a great experience," he said, adding that he'll also buy food items such as Omaha Steaks for customers upon request. Additionally, Onken said he provides package deals for cus- tomers, such as a "campers' kit" that contains outdoor cooking items and camping gear, a "romance package" that includes bedding and other items, and a "Lux package" that includes a down comforter, a Keurig coffee maker, stainless silver wear and ceramic plates. Why Not Rent Towables? In one of his presentations, Krenek spoke at length about the value of offering towables as rentals, which he said is the fastest- growing segment of the rentals market. In the past few years, travel trailer policies issued by MBA Insurance have outpaced the growth in motorhome policies by a huge margin, he said. Additionally, he noted that in the case of his business, towable trips have increased by 300 percent since he first began offering towable RVs to rent 14 years ago. Towable units don't tend to depreciate as fast as motorized, they don't tend to require as maintenance, and the cost for insurance and expenses for towables is lower, according to Krenek. Addi- RV Rentals Students socialize next to Class C motorhomes provided by Coachmen RV in the parking lot of the Tuscany Suites & Casino. Coachmen is one of several sponsors of the rental school. Students listen to instructor Scott Krenek as he kicks off the educational conference on the first day. About 70 students attended this year's rental school. Safe on the Road TireMinder TPMS ® TM Available at: Arrow, Atlas, Bell, Central Trailer, Cody Talbert, Foland, Keystone-NTP, Northern, Robert Thibert, Salem, SoCal, Stag Parkway and WTS #1 2012 & 2013 ! RVPApr.indd 78 3/19/14 2:30 PM

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