August '20

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rv-pro.com August 2020 • RV PRO • 49 Wood, who joined Carefree in August of 2016 as vice president of sales and mar- keting, took over leadership of the com- pany at the end of June. He explains that some other awning suppliers view the product as a commodity – and consequently they offer a limited amount of designs with minimal features. By comparison, Carefree sees the area protected by its awnings as critical to the success of a family's camping trip. He com- pares it to a heat map, which identifies where people gravitate to as they interact with a webpage. "If you look at how people use an RV during their waking hours, their interac- tion is concentrated predominantly in the patio area under the awing," Wood says. "Consequently, it's our belief that's the space that can most heavily influence a customer's experience and satisfaction with their RV. If we can enhance that camping experience, it's critical for Care- free's business." For example, Jim Defreese, Carefree's OEM sales manager, says the company has spent a great deal of effort over the past year to improve two of its premier Carefree workers lay out large swaths of fabric that can be cut to size and then incorporated into awning hardware or rolled up and shipped out as replacement fabric for existing awnings. "We pride ourselves on being a mass manufacturer of custom products," says Carefree of Colorado President Elden Wood.

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