January '18

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rv-pro.com January 2018 • RV PRO • 75 Va.-based Bay Camping, where he met and became friends with Bill Gorman, Bay Camping general manager and future RV/ MH Hall of Famer (class of 2011). "They didn't want the cars and I didn't want the trailers, so over the years, I bought a lot of cars," Dodd says. "As time went by, (Gorman) convinced me that if I could sell cars, I could sell trailers." At Gorman's urging, Dodd attended a 1972 Greenville, N.C., dealer show, and returned home with a deal to sell Terry travel trailers the following year. "We had eight or nine trailers, and they just sat on the back lot and nobody would even look at them," Dodd says. "They just sat there, and I thought, 'What in the world have I got here?'" The budding RV dealership escaped peril only thanks to his pre-existing auto businesses, he says. When the economy heated back up, Dodd started selling "all the trailers (he) could get," but even as units regularly rolled off the lot, he didn't allow himself to forget the long-dormant 1973 Terry trailers. When the economy waivered again, he was determined he would be prepared. From the bumpy start until his children took over leadership in the early 2000s, Dodd persistently worked to avoid debt, preferring to own his inventory and properties outright. Taking the Plunge Like many dealership owners, Dodd hoped to see his chil- dren grow up to lead the family business. His children, however, weren't enthusiastic about the prospect. "While the children worked at the dealership, they didn't want to go into the business," he says. "They went and worked in other places, and then they realized how successful it could be and they came back." The first was Susie Dodd, who took a full-time position at the dealership in 1994, and currently serves as Dodd RV comptroller. Six years later, George Dodd recruited his son Jamie to join the business as president, and in 2002, Jennifer George Dodd got into the RV business in 1973 selling Terry travel trailers. Despite the ups and downs of the RV business, he never regretted his decision to become an RV dealer. The dealership's location in Yorktown, Va., is pictured in these photos.

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