RV PRO

September '14

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86 • RV PRO • SEPTEMBER 2014 rv-pro.com H ere we are again, another summer is coming to an end! Now it's time to start thinking ahead and gearing up for the winter season. Odds are, your customers are either thinking it's time to put their RVs away for the winter, or if they are full-timers, that it's time to get ready for colder weather. For your parts department, it's time to start put- ting up your winterization end caps. It's also time to start retailing your water heater by-pass kits, your water pump converter kits, your hand pumps, your blow-out plugs, your tank and pipe heaters, your heated hoses, your water filter by-pass plates, and most importantly, your RV antifreeze. When retailing RV antifreeze, you have a couple of options. You can offer an Ethyl alcohol-based antifreeze, which is less costly, but which can attack some of the rubber gaskets and seals. It also leaves an odor and aftertaste in the water lines and is not biodegradable. Alternatively, you can sell Propylene glycol-based antifreeze. is one costs more, but it flushes out clean without leaving an odor or aftertaste, it's bio- degradable, and it won't harm the rubber seals or gaskets in the RV. Quite often, you will have to educate your cus- tomers on the difference when they see the Ethyl alcohol-based antifreeze at the neighborhood hard- ware store for a lot less money. Once you have your parts department geared up for the season, it's time to start marketing your winterization services. You definitely want to get your regulars sched- uled in to get the service done. However, you also want to reach out to those potential customers who haven't been to your dealership. By attracting those new customers, you can start building relationships to gain more service work, more parts sales, and potentially up-sell them into a newer unit. Once you start filling your schedule, it's time to get your service department ready. You can offer a number of winterization packages. For example, you can offer an economy package and do the bare minimum to winterize a customer's RV such as blowing out the lines and putting some antifreeze through the system. Prepping for the Winterizing Season Savvy dealers can sell winterization packages to build loyalty with existing customers, reach out to new ones, and increase parts sales and billable hours for the service department. RUSTY DUNHAM is an outside sales representative with NTP Distribution. Dunham has worked for NTP Distribution/Keystone Automotive Operations for 14 years and has more than 20 years in outside sales in both the RV and automotive aftermarkets. Previously, he spent two years as the parts manager for an RV dealership. As the summer draws to a close and winter approaches, your service department should begin offering winterization services. Such services could include blowing out the lines and putting some antifreeze through the system, cleaning and rinsing out the holding tanks, rinsing out the water heater tank, replacing the anode rods, and inspecting the roof and vent lids.

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