Recognized Supplier Guide '19

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22 • RV PRO • January 2019 rv-pro.com O R I G I N A L E Q U I P M E N T "There's also a lot of crossover from the automotive industry," Misener says. "If you look at the market from the 1960s and '70s, many of the trailers and RVs were being manufactured by some of the automakers, and they were pulling parts and working with designs they were already familiar with." Today, he adds, while the company does get obscure requests from individuals doing RV restorations, there's more of an interest in doing modifications to existing vehicles, either to add functionality or luxury. "In fact, that's a segment of the RV market that's growing pretty rapidly," he says. "They're buying old school buses or old commercial-type buses and redoing them to build their own campers." Thanks to the universality of some parts, Misener says Steele Rubber Products has been serving the RV industry for several years. However, it's only been in the past four years or so that it's begun to focus specifically on the market, and it only launched a separate website for the industry in early 2018. A Broader Perspective That's not to say either company is limiting its sales to its primary market, however. Misener estimates that these days Steele Rubber Products probably still sells 70 percent of its RV products to individuals, with the rest going to OEMs and dealers and repair shops. And, he says with the OEMs, it's typically the smaller manufacturers. "They know they can work project-to-project, call us up, and we'll send them another 100 feet of a particular seal," he says. "They don't have to worry about overhead or stocking. And, in most cases, we never require minimums. Selling it by Top: Steele Rubber Product's Matt Misener (left), project coordinator for new markets, and Daniel Agosta, project coordinator for automotive, are pictured in front of the company's booth at a show. Company reps attend a variety of trade and consumer shows in order to get the word out about the supplier's products. At left: A few members of the Steele Rubber Product's specialist team review company paperwork for accuracy sake. Pictured are (left to right): Paul Inman, Shay Eller and Heather Smith. The cars cut-outs on the office cube wall are a testament to the company's history of providing products to the automotive aftermarket.

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