RV PRO

December '18

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42 • RV PRO • December 2018 rv-pro.com D E A L E R S consignment. Before long, Dalton Frederickson says customers were coming to them to buy new RVs. The problem was they didn't have any to sell. So, they used the profit from consignment sales to purchase their first RV to sell. They did this repeatedly, and eventually were able to pick up a line through an RV manufacturer. Soon, Dalton Frederickson says, customers began coming in for parts and service. "We sold parts off of the trailer we lived in. We sold the spare tire off of it," he quips. Because the need for parts was so great, he says, they even- tually borrowed money from his mom to help build their parts supply. In one month they sold $10,000 worth of parts. "We paid that money back with 10 percent interest to my mom and we've been selling parts like that ever since," he says. Initially, Dalton Frederickson would drive 600 miles round trip to pick up an RV from the manufacturer and then drive it back to their shop to save money on freight. When he returned, the couple would prep the RV for delivery to the buyer. "Then we'd take that check to the bank and go and do another RV," he says. "My brother taught me that if you throw your heart over the fence, your body follows." After more than a year in operation, the couple decided to move their dealership to a 6-acre plot of land close to a major highway to give the store greater visibility. Prior to purchasing the land, where the dealership still sits, the couple worked hard to save up the $100,000 down-pay- ment they would need. "My wife worked pretty tirelessly putting together the SBA loan and then we got the facility built," he says. Last year, the Fredericksons began looking at opening a small retail store to serve RVers on vacation to the area. Chari Frederickson says they had been eying the location for years and jumped to snap it up when the gas station was foreclosed on by their bank. "We put together an offer and they accepted it," she says. RVers frequenting this new store are stocking up on supplies, making this location great for business, according to Chari Frederickson. "They're not coming in and buying a $2 part; they're coming in and doing some 'fill the cabinet' shopping, so to speak, for things like toilet paper, AC shrouds and hitches," she says. She says if RVers come with minor service needs, the deal- ership can accommodate them, but that the store is not set up for service work at this time. Down the road, she says, the couple may look at converting existing space on the property into a service bay. "But right now we don't have the manpower to do it," she says. Still Room for Mom-and-Pop Dealerships Although Dalton's RV is bigger than it used to be, it still pales in comparison with many of today's mega-dealers. Above: Recently, Dalton's RV expanded its flagship store in Sheridan (pictured), which now encompasses 13,000 square feet and includes five service bays. The dealership also recently opened a second location in Buffalo, Wyo., to serve the needs of RVers venturing into and out of Yellowstone National Park and the Bighorn Mountains. Left: Dalton's RV is very much a family-owned and operated business, with the couple's daughters, Jenna (left) and Maggie, working at the dealership.

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