July '19

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114 • RV PRO • July 2019 RV PRO: ALL IN THE FAMILY JULY SPECIAL SECTION P rest-O-Fit was founded in 1980 in Yuma, Ariz. Dave Prest had a plumbing and RV parts store. There was no standardization for connecting the sewer hose to the park inlet, so he invented a universal elbow that would fit all the parks in the U.S. and Canada with one connector. He got a patent on it and a mold for the fittings. He started producing and selling it himself because he was already an RV accessory retailer. He was buying from the distributors, so they had a rela- tionship already established. That inroad led him to selling the new fitting to distributors. In 1985, Prest-O-Fit purchased a small company called Dewey Carter that made a single step rug. That was the foray into the rug side of the business. His wife, Shirley, was part of this business from Day 1. It was a team effort. From the moment they got that mold, they began attending RV trade shows and open houses together. In the late '80s, their son, Dave Jr., started working for Prest-O-Fit. In 1992, Dave and Shirley Prest, along with Dave Jr., moved the business from Yuma to Phoenix. A year earlier, Rick Prest moved from Yuma to Phoenix to go to college. He moved with a childhood friend, Rob. Rob and Rick began working for the business part-time while attending college. As the company grew and needed more labor, Rob and Rick would recruit their fraternity brothers to work for the company. It worked out perfectly because the company needed part-time employees and a bunch of college students needed part-time jobs. One thing that developed from operating a family business is the impor- tance of putting family first, Rick says. "I think we have a pretty impeccable track record for employee retention," Rick says. "And I believe that our family dynamic and emphasis on a family-first environment has a lot to do with it." T he husband-and-wife ownership team of High Altitude Services started their mobile service business in 2015 after Gail lost her job in a Camping World service department due to the Great Recession. Until recently, their company was the only mobile service firm traveling to the Grand Canyon area. "We decided to try our own way of RV mobile repair and haven't looked back," Gail says. "Working with my husband is the best life! We work so well together and love meeting our RVers. Chase is so intelligent when it comes to fixing them. We get a lot of compliments on our fast response and the customers love that we are a husband-and wife-team." Northern Arizona can be a rugged life, but the Stanfields have found that having a business catering to folks who have found themselves in trouble on the road has been extremely rewarding. "Because northern Arizona can be so rural it can be hard for campers, hikers, and hunters to get help way out in the middle of nowhere," she says. "We love getting those calls." Working together for such a specific niche as the RV industry means there is plenty of "shop talk" around the house. In fact, Gail says she and her husband never stop talking about RVs, even when they are on vacation. In addition to the repair business, the Stanfields offer an online blog to help RVers learn more about the lifestyle. Since they started the business together and each has a specific set of skills, it might be hard to figure out who is in charge. "It depends on who you ask, who the boss is," she says. "But it's me over him." PREST-O-FIT RICK, DAVE JR, DAVE AND SHIRLEY PREST HIGH ALTITUDE SERVICES GAIL AND CHASE STANFIELD Rick (left) and Dave Prest

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