July '18

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RV PRO: Origins July 2018 • RV PRO • 129 Gordon Wilson, President, Origen RV Accessories T wo business associates and I designed, developed, and launched one of the first ever "drive-on" leveling products, Lynx Levelers. The product was successful in the early 1990s and is still selling to this day. I left the company after five years and was away from the RV industry for another 18 years until starting a new company with my three sons – Origen RV Accessories. We launched our new product, RV SnapPads, in September 2015. With Lynx Levelers, the goal was to offer a leveling product that was light, easy to use, easy to store, and longer lasting than wood (which was what many RVers were using to level their rigs at the time.) With RV SnapPads, our goal was to change the way RVers leveled their rigs once again. This time, we devised the only permanently attached jack pad, which eliminates many of the common leveling hassles for luxury fifth wheel and Class A motorhomes. My first turning point was the successful launch of Lynx Levelers that brought valuable insights learned from building a company from scratch into a success. The lessons and connections I made in the industry the first time around assisted me in my second turning point – the design, development, and launch of SnapPads. Being able to work with my three sons and my wife to build a family company is an accomplishment I'm proud of. Collaborating with my sons and watching our company grow, while providing RVers with a high-quality leveling product that enhances their camping experience, has been incredibly rewarding. Rich Schnippel, Director of RV Operations, inTech RV I got my start in the RV industry when a friend of mine was a partner in a holding group that owned a small trailer company that was struggling with sales. We took sales from less than $4 million in annual sales to just under $8 million in just over 14 months. I spent a lot of time developing the dealer network and creating marketing materials. But to really find success, I had to leave the industry for a while. (In 2010), I was asked to come back to the industry by inTech Trailers and was fortunate enough to structure owner- ship as a part of employment. I took on a sales and marketing role with the company and when we decided to enter the RV side of things I headed up the development of that division. Much of my outlook on the industry was developed while attending my first trade show. I was very green as to what I was seeing. I was told to walk the show and see the differences between the different brands. To be honest, I really didn't see a lot of differences from one brand to the next. They really looked similar in design and quality. I was glad to have this experience because I believe I had the opportunity to understand what our retail buyers experience – it's a wave of products that all blend together. I believe it helped me to become a better marketing person and discover ways to set our company apart. My greatest achievement in the RV industry is the creation of inTech's Luna teardrop trailer. We made a concerted effort to address issues that customers felt existed with current teardrops I am tremendously proud of the recognition we garnered in the industry. Luna was a Best in Show winner with RV PRO.

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