May '20

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66 • RV PRO • May 2020 rv-pro.com campers in the RV universe the number isn't huge. Most of its aftermarket sales are done through its distributor network, although buyers also call the company direct. Next up for Rieco-Titan: A kit that will allow truck camper owners to replace their Happijac jacks through the creation of adapter brackets. "We've already built the brackets and have redone our website materials, but it hasn't been added to the website yet," he says. Opportunities Abound While Bakker says the company has a good presence in the aftermarket, he believes the better opportunity going forward for Rieceo-Titan is with the OEMs. Fortunately, the company already has an extensive list of OEM clients, including Palomino RV, Travel Lite RV, nuCamp, North- wood RV, Rugged Mountain Custom RV, Host Campers, Kimbo Campers, Alaskan Camper, Capri Campers, Bundutek, Kingstar and Northstar. "We have Fleming Sales Co. in Elkhart warehouse for us and do some follow-up sales in the Elkhart area," Bakker says. "We build it here, ship it to their warehouse and they dis- tribute to our customers throughout the week. Distribution to the other OEMs goes directly from here. And, we also have products going to Germany, China, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand." He adds that – surprisingly, perhaps – his sales have been going up, even though he admits at least some people who might have bought truck campers in the past are switching to Class B motorhomes. "Over the last two years, if you look at RV sales, the numbers say they're going down, but we've gone up each year," Bakker says. "And, I can't say we've hit any big new customer to increase our sales, either. It seems the continental U.S. has been steady with the truck campers. This is not a high-end purchase, but it's people who want to be outside who are spending their money on their toys for being outside. They don't want a 50-inch TV screen; they're sitting by the campfire." Meanwhile, Bakker says one of his goals is to get out in the field to talk with more end-users, with the idea it may spur ideas for additional products. "I'm planning on getting a camper and doing a little more traveling to rallies and jamborees to have a more interaction with people who are using our products," he says. "I'd also like more feedback on some things we could be adding to our lineup." Not that the Rieco-Titan is strictly jacks even today. He cites the company's camper dollies and fifth wheel landing gear as examples. But, he adds, the company could be doing more. "We want to reach a little bit outside our box and maybe start making some products for the aftermarket that would be for trailers and not just truck campers," Bakker says. "And, we want to continue to show the OEMs and the aftermarket the quality difference between our products and our competitors'." Bakker (seated at right) is pictured with members of the office staff (left to right): Sue Habegger, Heather Sincak and Sandy Kanoski. The business employs 19 people.

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