February '20

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rv-pro.com February 2020 • RV PRO • 43 their new RV – we've made changes in what we carry to reflect changes in what people want. Buyers today typically walk in with the expectation that we will have something they can tow with their family vehicle, whether that is a Jeep Wrangler, a Chevrolet Tahoe, or even a crossover vehicle. As a result, we've brought these vehicles together to make it easier for buyers to find them both online in our advertising and on the physical sales lot. "The same goes for family-friendly travel trailers: As we've seen half-ton truck tow ratings increase, we've started to stock larger double- and triple-slide bunkhouse travel trailers, which was vir- tually unheard of with the prior gener- ation of buyers and their pickups. This allows for our newer buyers to bring along friends, family, or for multiple families to camp together. "In terms of accessories, so many of our younger buyers are requesting options like solar capability that we're ordering the majority of our inventory with panels already optioned from the factory. The most commonly sold accessories are items that make camping easier or more trouble-free. "Our customers know their time is valuable and will spend a few more dollars to make their overall experience more enjoyable. This makes Andersen jack blocks, automatic sliding fifth wheel hitches, bug screens, slide awnings, backup cameras, and vent covers our most common add-ons. " We're a l s o i n s t a l l i n g f a r m o re upgraded weight-distribution hitches now. It is very rare that we are asked to install the old chain-and-single-point- sway-control system anymore, as most customers opt for the Fastway E2 or Equal-i-zer hitches for ease of use and a more solid, safer drive. "Financially, what I am seeing is that a much larger percentage of our cus- tomers have become 'payment buyers', meaning they are mainly concerned with the monthly payment, followed by the interest rate. Few of our younger buyers are concerned with the overall term of the loan. As a result, we often ask, 'Would paying $20 more per month make a dif- ference in your choice?' If the answer is no, we ask, 'Then why don't you get the RV you want rather than the one you're settling for?' "Repeat or returning customers within six months to two years is more common with older buyers who want to 'try it out' before they make a large investment, whereas younger buyers are more likely to splurge on their initial purchase by spending an extra 10 per- cent or so to get what they really want the first time."

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