May '21

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38 • RV PRO • May 2021 rv-pro.com to marketing efforts. She's worked in almost every department at Setzer's, except for parts. "I remember a summer when I had to do a bunch of PDIs. Leading up to July Fourth several years ago, we had two techs with health problems," Butler says. "So, I wore my tennis shoes to work and started the PDIs on the units going out. I put water in them, turned on all the faucets, turned on all the lights and electric appliances, opened and closed all the windows – basically did everything but the gas-related items and installing the battery. A real tech finished up and I only overflowed the fresh water tank on one. We survived." Setzer's continues to survive, despite a state- wide population loss that began about the time Morris bought the dealership, and heightened competition in neighboring Ashland, Ky., and Charleston, West Virginia's capital. Travel trailers are the store's bread and butter, and Butler likes to say Setzer's is the "stick- and-tin capital of the world." Pop-up campers remain a staple, too, despite their simplicity. "Almost everybody buys an air condi- tioner on them, and we promote that. I feel like they do pretty well. That's what I grew up camping in," she says. "I still have this soft spot in my heart for a pop-up. I have a travel trailer now, but I recommend a pop-up. "They don't take up a lot of space, and while they're not that cheap, you can get inexpensive ones. You have a lot of room in a folding trailer because the beds are out of the way," she adds. "You really have the floorspace of a travel trailer and the air conditioners are fairly efficient if you close the curtains off the beds in the daytime and open them at night." The drawback is the lack of storage and the need to empty them before they're closed, but pop-ups can be pulled by almost anything, Butler notes. Of the 400 units Setzer's sold last year, about 20 of them were pop-ups – a substantial decline from years prior, when the store could move 100 or so off the lot. Travel trailers accounted for two-thirds of Setzer's sales in 2019 and 90 percent of those were new units. "We don't seem like we get a lot of trades, for some reason, and when we do get them, they sell super-fast," Butler says. "We used to sell 25 percent used, but I think it's probably lower at this point. Travel trailers are the store's bread and butter, and Butler likes to say Setzer's is the "stick-and-tin capital of the world." Pop-up campers remain a staple, too. Technician Timothy Brinegar applies caulk to the roof of a motorhome. Brinegar has worked for the dealership for 25 years, one of several veteran employees who work for Setzer's.

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