February '20

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22 • RV PRO • February 2020 rv-pro.com RV D E A L E R S A bout a half hour north of Sacramento, Calif., and a bit more than an hour west of the iconic Lake Tahoe, sits the small community of Newcastle (population 1,225), home to Affordable RV Rentals. The family-run RV rentals, ser- vice and unit sales business is hitting an underserved sweet spot for northern California's booming RV customers. R.J. Lemke, the company's operations manager, says the growing business has found a competitive niche in the RV market with 50 or so units for rent at any given time, giving the dealership a low-cost entry for younger RVers. "Like most dealerships, our typical customer is still a Baby Boomer – but with a strong rental and service business – we get a chance to engage with a much younger clientele as well," he says, noting that the company offers a complete range of rental units to entice customers across a broad spectrum of experience with RVs. "That is really important when you think about the long-term sustainability of the business." Lemke notes that the dealership – which sells about 75 units a year and services between 120 and 140 units a month – benefits greatly from this broad range of customer demographics. "We certainly enjoy our proximity to a couple of retirement communities in the surrounding communities, but we also see that for the industry to stay profitable we have to aim at a younger demographic," he says, noting that the company's more than two decades in the business has given it a longer-term perspective on creating strong relationships with customers. "What we've found is that when you can engage with younger customers – whether it's for service or rental or sales – you can establish a relationship that will last of long time," he adds. "As they have kids, they upgrade, and when those kids then leave home, they start to move back down into smaller units. Being able to support your customers as their lifestyles change is a great way to ensure you're long-term growth." A Hands-on Family Business Taking the long view on growth opportunities in the RV busi- Affordable RVs for All California-based Affordable RV Rentals is engaging younger RVers with its accessible rentals program and its strong focus on RV service while also offering unit sales. By Jake Rishavy Affordable RV currently operates out of three buildings in Newcastle, Calif., but is looking to expand its operations to a nearby community in mid-2020.

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