September '14

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92 • RV PRO • SEPTEMBER 2014 rv-pro.com with a problem that would need to be fixed on the road. Williams, does, however, have a contract with a company that provides road service. Usually, owners get their vehicles back in top condition, as it's rare for renters to leave the units damaged or a mess, according to Williams. "It's not as big a problem as we feared getting into the business," he says. "People have a large security deposit on them, and they know that if they come back and it's trashed, they're going to get charged." One challenge to running the rental business is having the RVs available for prospective customers to see before they rent them. At any given time, at least half of William's fleet is rented out and rolling along a highway somewhere. "It's always a juggling act," he says. "We usually have something for them to look at, but all of our units are unique." Williams has posted 20 to 30 photos of each RV on his website, and encourages his customers to make appointments if they would like to see the particular unit they would like to rent. "Most of our business we do by appoint- ment," he says, "so we can make arrange- ments when the vehicle is on the lot." Walt Williams shows a few of the items he rents to customers to enhance their trips, such as bicycle racks, kitchenwares, and towels and linens. All of those little extra amenities can add up to some nice extra profits for Suncoast. For example, renting a satellite dish costs a customer $50 per trip, plus $5 a day.

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