March '16

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rv-pro.com MARCH 2016 • RV PRO • 29 "We just built CBS a mobile broadcasting booth from a 25-foot trailer," he says. "It took a long time to get to their specs with their computers and consoles. We had to gut the thing." Staffing two service departments is a challenge, Kaiden admits, but before he'll consider hiring technicians off the street, he prefers to first look inside. "Airstream offers training programs in body repairs, electrical, plumbing, cabinetry and we send people back to Ohio all the time," he says. "We're trying to promote from within and get them trained properly instead of hiring somebody from outside the RV world with bad habits." It's a sound strategy; a former porter is now an apprentice tech- nician and instead of needing to learn how the shop works, he can dive straight into the world of Airstream service. As for customers, Kaiden sees two types show up at the stores. "A lot of them come out of big motorhomes," he says of his motorhome customers. "We get the people who trade in the big one and now they're so happy because now they have something with ultimate luxury but in a manageable scale. You can park it anywhere and it has good gas mileage because it's a diesel." Many buyers of the iconic towables — which make up 80 per- cent of Kaiden's sales — are new to RVs, but once they become Airstream owners, he'll often see them back for larger units. Such trade-ups take place at least once a month, he says, and it keeps the lots stocked with desirable pre-owned inventory. Being a part of an auto dealer group also means Kaiden's stores can take any- thing on trade, too, given that cars and trucks don't need to be wholesaled to a third party. RV Dealership to the Stars Both locations do a brisk consignment business, too, Kaiden notes, and the Los Angeles store even handled the recent sale of TV and film star Patrick Dempsey's International Sterling used while the actor was starring in the hit TV show "Grey's Anatomy." "We get a lot of famous people who want these units," he says. In addition to Dempsey, who bought his trailer from L.A., Skylights A/C Shrouds Holding Tanks Available Nationwide www.icondirect.com 1-888-362-4266

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