August '20

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rv-pro.com August 2020 • RV PRO • 51 more of an original equipment item than in the past 20 years or so ago. Kevin Jastrem, Carefree's aftermarket sales manager, says that today replacements and upgrades make up the bulk of after- market sales. "I'm not sure what the percentage is, but it's probably close to 90 percent of RVs that are already coming with the awnings," he says. "We do have some features that our competitors do not have, so a lot of our customers out there, when they buy a new coach, know that and want to change over their awnings to the Carefree ones." In other cases, Jastrem adds, they may already have Carefree products, but want to upgrade to more advanced features, or simply change their fabric. For example, Jastrem cites RV owners interested in increasing their fabric protection with a metal wrap or the company's FLXguard product, which has the protection prop- erties of a metal wrap, while also resisting scratches or dents, but at a lower cost. "Converting manual patio awnings to power is a very easy aftermarket upsell for a dealer after a unit has been delivered," he adds. "There are definite opportuni- ties out there for that, as well as for our slide-out products. We have several dif- ferent options when it comes to slide-out protection and not every coach comes with slide-out awnings on it. That's a leading aftermarket awning product right now." Still, the company recognizes that slide-out awnings are becoming a desirable item for the OEM market, and Defreese says Carefree has recently added a slide prep program for that market, providing a bracket that the dealer can later use to install a slide-out cover. "We also make it very easy for them to make their aftermarket decisions," says Jastrem. "We have a very comprehensive website to help them find part numbers and gather the information they need to change their awning to whatever they want as a final unit." The company utilizes a two-step dis- tribution system for both its awnings and its awning accessories. Wood says the main reason for that is Carefree knows the Repair Event Cycle Time is critical, and Up to 12,000 lbs. capacity Available with or without integrated braking system LIFETIME WARRANTY Fits a Fits any manufacturer's baseplates (specific clevis sold seperately) $725 $1,200 $649 $1,099 Guys... No need to fight, NSA Tow Bars work great AND they cost less. Ready Brute II - Aluminum Ready Brute Elite II - Aluminum with integrated brake Atlas - Steel Hercules - Steel with integrated brake MSRP works great. costs less. readybrake.com 800-933-3372 It works great! No... It costs less!

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