RV PRO

August '20

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38 • RV PRO • August 2020 rv-pro.com Early Beginnings Laid Strong Foundation When Bidwell's grandfather, George Bidwell, rented a truck camper in 1968 to go camping with his family, it was the beginning of the family business. "When they returned, he figured he could make his own camper and, within a few days, had built one," Bailey says. "He partnered with three other buddies, who each took their middle initials and formed F.A.M.E Manufacturing." They started making truck campers, but soon expanded to travel trailers, park models, truck caps and fifth wheels. In 1970, George Bidwell's brothers, Dick Bidwell, who is Bailey's father, and Bob Bidwell bought out the other owners. "The RVs were all custom-made at the time," she says, "and from 1968 to 1998, we built everything." The year 1998 was a turning point for the business and the family piv- oted away from manufacturing RVs to retailing them. "The cost of building them became more than what we could buy them for," says Bailey, who joined the business in 2000, "and we became Fame RV Center." Bidwell came on board in 2013, soon after college. Fame RV staffs 20 employees, which also includes five family members. "We all have fun," he says. "Everyone here are all friends and many of us hang out together when we're not at work. We have great Christmas parties and we're all easygoing. "Most of our employees have been here for 20 years and we have a couple who have been here for 40 – they're ded- icated, hardworking and got us to where we are today." Be sure to read Be sure to read this month's this month's guest columns guest columns from F&I expert from F&I expert Jan Kelly and Jan Kelly and merchandising merchandising specialist Linda specialist Linda Cahan, starting Cahan, starting on page 86, on page 86, a continuation a continuation of the Annual of the Annual Women in Women in Business section. Business section. Service tech Bob Courson searches for the right tool in the dealership's large service area, which can accommodate 15 RVs at a time. The dealership also offers mobile RV service and on-site service for park models.

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