March '20

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rv-pro.com March 2020 • RV PRO • 43 If there is one thing RVers love as much as their coaches, it's surely their four-legged friends. So, it only makes sense that when it comes time to travel, RVers want to be able to take man's best friend with them. However, that poses certain logistical challenges when it comes to deciding where Fido or Rex will stay and play during extended excursions. Inside the coach? On a leash attached the RV's exterior or to a stake in the ground next to the coach? Paul Huffman, president of Roanoke, Va.-based Safety Step, believes he has a much better solution. At the NTP-STAG Expo, he was touting the company's newest product: the Picket Play Portable Fence. Huffman says the idea for Picket Play originated with an inventor who appeared on what is essentially a local TV version of the popular national television show Shark Tank, where upstart entrepreneurs pitch their products to well-healed investors for funding. When Huffman became aware of the product, he immediately saw its appeal for the RV market, which his company has worked in for years. "It only made sense for us, because this is a safety product and we're a safety company," Huffman says, adding that, in addition to pets, the fencing system also can keep young kids traveling with RVers from wandering off. Huffman says Safety Step took the initial invention and improved upon it, adding extra safety features, then tested it in the field to make sure it performed like it should. The Picket Play offers 135 square feet of fencing that attaches to an RV and completely encloses the camping area, including the area behind the RV steps. The fencing – made of lightweight but sturdy vinyl – comes complete with one door panel and 12 standard panels measuring 36 inches in width by 32 inches in height. Each panel weighs 7.5 pounds. Also included with the fencing system is one step panel, one insert panel, and 17 short and long powder-coated push rods for securing the fence into the ground. When not in use, the required storage space for Picket Play is 3 feet by 3 feet, allowing for convenient storage. Huffman says any initial trepidation about launching a new product was quickly dispelled as he began receiving emails and let- ters from happy customers who sent him photos of their pooches happily frolicking or resting inside the Picket Play fence. "That was very gratifying," he says simply. Dealers at the NTP-STAG show also were impressed with the product, according to Huffman, who said a number of them ordered multiple units to have them in stock before show season starts. (Safety Step has a one-year agreement exclusive to NTP-STAG to distribute the product.) What impressed RV PRO: The Picket Play is a product whose time has come, given how much RVers love their four-legged friends. Safety Step clearly put a lot of time and attention into producing a fencing system that is compact and lightweight, but just as impor- tantly well-designed and sturdy. Watch a Video About the Product: https://www.picketplay.net Safety Step Picket Play Portable Fence Safety Step President Paul Huffman is pictured with Picket Play Fencing mascot "Cooper" standing behind the company's fencing product at the NTP-STAG Expo. Huffman says RVers who travel with their four-legged friends love the Picket Play.

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