RV LIFE Podcast

TOP SECRET RV Industry Forever Changed: Freightliner Chassis Now on the Entegra, Cornerstone

January 10, 2024 Dan & Patti Hunt Season 3 Episode 63
TOP SECRET RV Industry Forever Changed: Freightliner Chassis Now on the Entegra, Cornerstone
RV LIFE Podcast
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RV LIFE Podcast
TOP SECRET RV Industry Forever Changed: Freightliner Chassis Now on the Entegra, Cornerstone
Jan 10, 2024 Season 3 Episode 63
Dan & Patti Hunt

The RV Industry is forever changed with the unveiling of the Freightliner Chassis now offered on the Entegra, Cornerstone. The secret is out and there is more innovation coming.

Embark on a journey through the heart of the RV industry with us, Patti and Dan, as we broadcast from the picturesque Camp Margaritaville. Prepare to be schooled on the vital role of the Freightliner chassis on your motorhome, thanks to pearls of wisdom from industry giants:  Jeff Sather, President of Freightliner Custom Chassis,  Ken Walters, President of Entegra,  Brett Davis, President & CEO NIRVC,  Pat Carroll, Director of Product Development, Entegra, and Angie Morell, Director of Sales, NIRVC. Together, we unwrap the hidden gems of the RV world, from the structural integrity of your coach's foundation to the house that has all the design features you have been asking for.
 
 For Dan and I the best part of RV LIFE is the camaraderie of our fellow RVers. It has been an amazing weekend here at the AIM (All Inclusive Motorhome Club) Rally and National Indoor RV Centers, where we've been treated not just as customers but as part of an extended family. 

Finally, our episode wouldn't be complete without highlighting the innovations propelling the RV industry forward and the safety features all RV should have, such as   Rettroband's revolutionary safety in the face of tire blowouts, more info at https://www.rettroband.com/, Proteng Fire Suppression System, https://proteng.com/  automatically suppresses a fire should one start.  We also stressed the significance of a trustworthy dealership partnership in your RV journey.  So, sit back, relax, and let us lead you through the ins and outs of an RV lifestyle rich in history, learning, and a promise of tomorrow's possibilities.

Special Discounts Codes: Click Link & Use Code

RV LIFE Pro Click the link for 25% off
• Motorhome Tires: $50 discount FIND MY INSTALLER
•Thousand Trail Membership Call/Text Membership Specialist Warren & Sharon Lewis 804-366-0798
CLEAR2O
Open Road Fuel Card save on Diesel Fuel
LITO - Luxury In The Outdoors
Open Roads Innovative Tolling Solutions
Toll pass, all 48 state & customer support
Open Road Resorts Mention RV LIFE Podcast
National Vehicle great place to sell your RV
Harvest Hosts Boondockers Welcome
Code: HUNT20 for 20% off
Sponsors
National Indoor RV Centers
6 great ...

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The RV Industry is forever changed with the unveiling of the Freightliner Chassis now offered on the Entegra, Cornerstone. The secret is out and there is more innovation coming.

Embark on a journey through the heart of the RV industry with us, Patti and Dan, as we broadcast from the picturesque Camp Margaritaville. Prepare to be schooled on the vital role of the Freightliner chassis on your motorhome, thanks to pearls of wisdom from industry giants:  Jeff Sather, President of Freightliner Custom Chassis,  Ken Walters, President of Entegra,  Brett Davis, President & CEO NIRVC,  Pat Carroll, Director of Product Development, Entegra, and Angie Morell, Director of Sales, NIRVC. Together, we unwrap the hidden gems of the RV world, from the structural integrity of your coach's foundation to the house that has all the design features you have been asking for.
 
 For Dan and I the best part of RV LIFE is the camaraderie of our fellow RVers. It has been an amazing weekend here at the AIM (All Inclusive Motorhome Club) Rally and National Indoor RV Centers, where we've been treated not just as customers but as part of an extended family. 

Finally, our episode wouldn't be complete without highlighting the innovations propelling the RV industry forward and the safety features all RV should have, such as   Rettroband's revolutionary safety in the face of tire blowouts, more info at https://www.rettroband.com/, Proteng Fire Suppression System, https://proteng.com/  automatically suppresses a fire should one start.  We also stressed the significance of a trustworthy dealership partnership in your RV journey.  So, sit back, relax, and let us lead you through the ins and outs of an RV lifestyle rich in history, learning, and a promise of tomorrow's possibilities.

Special Discounts Codes: Click Link & Use Code

RV LIFE Pro Click the link for 25% off
• Motorhome Tires: $50 discount FIND MY INSTALLER
•Thousand Trail Membership Call/Text Membership Specialist Warren & Sharon Lewis 804-366-0798
CLEAR2O
Open Road Fuel Card save on Diesel Fuel
LITO - Luxury In The Outdoors
Open Roads Innovative Tolling Solutions
Toll pass, all 48 state & customer support
Open Road Resorts Mention RV LIFE Podcast
National Vehicle great place to sell your RV
Harvest Hosts Boondockers Welcome
Code: HUNT20 for 20% off
Sponsors
National Indoor RV Centers
6 great ...

Speaker 1:

How difficult is it for you to keep a really big secret? I mean a really big secret. This is the RV Life Podcast. We're live from Margaritaville. I'm Dan Hut, your host, with my incredible wife, patty Hutch. She's sitting right next to me right here, and this has been something that has been going on for a while. I don't know about you, patty, but this is one of the biggest secrets that I've had to keep for a couple weeks now.

Speaker 2:

It's been more than a couple weeks and it's been big. We have presidents and CEOs of company here to unveil this big secret, and I don't know about you, but keeping secrets is sometimes difficult. Now, dan, you did a great job, but I am so relieved it is being revealed in just a half hour, because I'm done trying to keep this secret.

Speaker 1:

I'll tell you what, just for our listeners, so you understand what we are looking at and what's going on. Right here we are at the beautiful Camp Margaritaville. Where are we, Patty?

Speaker 2:

In Auburn, dale, florida.

Speaker 1:

And there is a great big room here that we could do events in. We have done events here in the past, and just outside that room there is a big thing. It looks like a bread box, but it is much bigger than a bread box and it has got a great big black veil on it. I'm going to take a picture of this with Patty standing in front of it. We'll put it up on our Instagram page so all of you can see the size of what we are going to unveil here today.

Speaker 2:

And we'll put it on RV Life Podcast on Instagram and Facebook. And some of you might have heard it is windy here, so we are going to hear some of that wind during this podcast.

Speaker 1:

Yes, it is. It is very, very windy here. Now. That sound means it's time for today's fun fact. Fun fact is brought to you by open roads resorts with four great locations Two in Montana, one in Idaho and one in Texas. We had a wonderful time at open roads resorts Texas facility. We had a camp spot that overlooked the lake there. It was beautiful.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and that campground is called Dallas Northeast, obviously because it's just northeast of Dallas, so the location is amazing to get to all things in the Dallas area. We loved it there. Now, this fun fact shocked me and being here with all these presidents and CEOs and getting information that I just take in, but it is shocking. So I'm looking to see if I am saying this right and I think I am. The chassis on a motor home is one third the cost of the motor home. So, as it was explained, if it's a $600,000 motor home, $200,000 is for the chassis.

Speaker 1:

Two, four, six, that one third.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's good. It's good. I don't do math, but I do money and that's how much money it costs. But it's surprising to me. I would have thought that amount would have been a lot more, since the chassis is everything.

Speaker 1:

It really. You know, since we had that conversation today and I started talking to people About that conversation, it really hit me hard because I don't think people really think about the chassis. Now, some of you out there, some of our listeners out there, they want the chassis. That's the first thing that they look at in our world. That's almost the first thing that we're looking at as well.

Speaker 2:

Right, and for us hanging around Freightliner and learning about chassis, we are going to be in the Freightliner booth in Tampa, If I got to put a plug in for that. So at the Florida super show RV super show we will be in the Freightliner booth and I've learned so much about chassis's more in this year than I ever ever even imagined and it's important. And, as some of you that have been listening know, Dan and I are looking for our next RV and it will definitely be on that Freightliner chassis no question.

Speaker 1:

This is a pop quiz because everybody knows I used to teach at Villanova University, so pop quiz are the tires? You might need Jeff to help you with this one. Are the tires part of the chassis or are they part of the house of the motor home?

Speaker 2:

I'm going to say the part of the chassis, robert, yes, I got it right.

Speaker 1:

I got it right. Jeff gave me a thumbs up.

Speaker 2:

Robert gave me a thumbs up. I saw some head shaking. Yes, they are part of. We were just talking about that today, so I've been listening.

Speaker 1:

Well, I will tell you that we have done a lot of research there we go Okay, I need to turn Patty the wind is really picking up here.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so I'm going to try and turn so you can't hear it.

Speaker 1:

So we've been doing a lot of research on chassis's. We have been asked to come and do this event, which is kind of a freight liner event, and we have decided that our next motor home, which Patty has decided will be in this next month, is going to be on a freight liner chassis. Why?

Speaker 2:

No question, why? Okay, one of the things that I think people look for with any company is customer service.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. And you know, when you go to the Webster's dictionary and you look up customer service, it says freight liner custom chassis. Right there they are the gold standard of all customer service. They care about their customers and that is what is so important. They have a 24 hour a day call center.

Speaker 2:

Seven days a week. Seven days a week, 365 days a year yes, so you can go to that call center.

Speaker 1:

So, freight liner custom chassis, that is the chassis, that is Dan and Patty's chassis of choice and we will be driving our next motor home on a freight liner custom chassis.

Speaker 2:

This month. You've got to continue to put that out there this month, this month, this month.

Speaker 1:

Let me ask you a question have you ever paid a toll on a highway or bridge?

Speaker 2:

I'm sure everybody here is shaking their head, as I am, because we have actually driven about 100,000 miles over the last several years and we have definitely paid tolls. Now, today, we're going to let them in on a secret.

Speaker 1:

We're going to let you in on the RV industry's best kept secret.

Speaker 2:

Open roads, innovative tolling Now this product is absolutely incredible.

Speaker 1:

It's a toll transponder. I have it right here. I was looking in my backpack. I have it right here. It's a toll transponder that goes on the windshield of your RV. This one lives on the windshield of our RV and it works in all 48 states. And if that's not enough, there are concierge service that deals with any violations that may occur.

Speaker 2:

Yes, it costs $25, excuse me a year, which is what all the toll passes cost. And they assign you, as you said, a concierge service. They assign you a personal customer service representative. So if you do get that toll violation, they handle it for you.

Speaker 1:

Open roads, innovative tolling the RV industry's best kept secret Until now. This is the RV live podcast. I'm your host, dan Hunt, with my incredible wife, patty, up there in the front. We're right behind you. Back here we're doing the RV live podcast. We have a special surprise today. We're going to figure out what's inside that big bread box out there. Okay, I'm going to turn things over right now as we figure out what's going on. We're going to turn things over right now to Robert Bernard.

Speaker 3:

Where's the beef? Thank you everyone for coming today. We are very excited. My name is Robert Bernard. I am dealer, marketing and training manager at Freightliner Custom Chassis. Freightliner Custom Chassis has had lots and lots of innovations in the RV industry for years, and this is yet another one. But before we get started, I just want to introduce a few people Jeff Sather, president and CEO of Freightliner Custom Chassis.

Speaker 5:

Okay, so let's start with the now. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Last couple of days I convinced myself, or me, my best friend, that I am not alone.

Speaker 1:

Our next guest is Jeff Sather. He's the president and CEO of Freightliner Custom Chassis that was established in 1995. Now they build chastis in Gaffney, south Carolina, for motorhomes, for delivery vehicles, for commercial vehicles and for school buses, with over a thousand employees in the proud company motto we're driven by you, jeff. Welcome back to the RV life podcast.

Speaker 5:

Hi Dan, Hi Patty, it's a pleasure to be here again. Thank you for having me.

Speaker 2:

It is awesome and it is so excited to see this coach unveiled and know that it is on a Freightliner chassis. Why is this so important to the industry? I'm just jumping right in here.

Speaker 5:

Yeah, so the cornerstone, the Integra cornerstone. Yesterday we revealed for the first time in Never history of that it's gonna be on a Freightliner Custom Chassis and it's well, I guess. Why is it important? I mean it's because what the customer wanted- that's great.

Speaker 2:

It's what the customer wants him for, dan and I. Simple, yes, very simple. It's so. Integra and Freightliner got together because customers like our aim rally customer said we want the Freightliner chassis. Dan and I have been looking for our next motorhome for two years and we definitely want the Freightliner chassis, so we're excited.

Speaker 1:

Let's talk about why we want the Freightliner chassis, and it comes down to Customer service. I mean it. It really comes down to the way that you, that the attitude that you have set for Freightliner and and it doesn't matter, you know, I've heard you say this a million times and I've said it on the air quite a few times your customer service is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Yep, it doesn't matter. Now somebody told a story earlier to us about New Year's Day and about somebody wanting to talk on New Year's Day. And they got to you, they got to your customer service rep and their issue got taken care of.

Speaker 1:

And and another thing that just blew me away and sold me on Freightliner forever is a dinner that you and I were at a year ago and you were sitting right across from me and between us was KC Tubman Yep, kc, president of Newmark. He's the president of Newmark Corporation and we were talking about customer service. Because I was asking you was like why are you at the Tampa RV Super Show? What is the reason for Freightliner to be here? And you're like is we want the customer to know that we are your first point of contact? And KC piped in at that point and said we would. Our customer service is primarily from Freightliner's customer service.

Speaker 5:

Well, we work together, our two departments will yeah, so KC will also have a call center that takes care of of any coach issue. But a lot of slide doesn't go out your, your water's leaking, you, something like that. Right, something that's not.

Speaker 5:

Chassis but a lot of times there's this gray area. Is it a chassis issue? Is it a coach issue, a house issue? Where do I go to get service? And so we run into that quite a bit. When our call center comes in and we will get the OEM and, in this case, new more that we're talking about Yep.

Speaker 5:

And put a three-way call together and take care of the customer's problem and vice versa. So if new markets a call and it's related to the chassis, they'll dial us up and we'll get together. But we're there to take care of that customers.

Speaker 2:

I just I have to go back for our listeners because and sometimes I feel stupid, but I've heard other people think this when I was in Hershey a year and a half, almost two years ago, the chassis was there the freight line or chassis was there, dan, and I stood in front of it. In my mind, the chassis was the metal frame. That's what I was thinking now. Since we got to know you a year and a half or so ago, I've learned that the chassis and I'm putting this in my words is everything. It is the safety part, it is the engine and is Everything, with the house sitting on top.

Speaker 2:

It's the foundation, it's the foundation and we all know without a strong foundation, your house is useless. So that was something I learned, and I'm gonna make sure our listeners Hear this, because I didn't realize how important I was. Shopping for a motorhome based on the pretty cabinets and Heat on the floor and the bed. Well, that's not what's gonna break down and stop me from traveling right.

Speaker 5:

So you guys are making my job pretty easy here today because you ask the question but you actually can answer it. You're answering it better than I can because you are the end consumers. You guys live in an RV for the last three years, so you know everything that can happen in an RV, so yeah, so, patty, why an F triple C? Why would you want an F triple C, right? There you go, I don't have to answer that question anymore. You answer it.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes, and I will say, and again, throw the back at me, but I will say I, I. When, when Dan did the interview and and I'll post that in the show notes he did an interview with you and Tampa a year ago, it just opened my eyes and again, I was a teacher for 20 years. So I'm all about educating People and that's why we do the podcast. So when we started looking at the different companies that make chassis, we decided the freight liner was the way to go. And then, meeting you, jeff, you know you think of presidents and CEOs. You are a real person Sitting here at dinner with people Asking, hey, what can we do better? Your customer service support system is amazing. Camp freight liner I mean, let's talk about camp freight liner. Let's talk about I'm gonna buy my next coach. I have my freight liner chassis. Of course, I'll sign up for camp freight liner. Let's talk to our listeners about it.

Speaker 5:

Yeah, so it's one of the benefits that we offer here at freight liner custom chassis is so, when you are a coach owner and if you have the interest and really want to understand how to take care of your coach, what happens if you know the components on the chassis and on the engine and what do I need? How often do I need to change the air filter? What do I need to do with the fuel filter? What do I need to do with belts and hoses? We can teach you all that and we have a two-day class that we offer and we do it through COVID. We started doing it virtually and that's actually done better than I ever thought it would do From the standpoint of getting the information conveyed to the, to the consumer, to the end customer. But we also do it in person and sometimes we'll do it at a big rally, sometimes we'll do it at a course in Gaffney. We do it there.

Speaker 5:

That's where we prefer to do it, but we'll have a limited number of people that'll come in and If they're on a freight liner custom chassis, we will pull up the VIN number or get their VIN number and we will have when they Come up.

Speaker 5:

We'll pull up all the documentation further for their vehicle, for their chassis, and now we can customize that training for just them in the classroom and it's really a two-day course and and we prefer you know whoever's in the coach it's traveling around, like you and Dan for yourself, we'd want both of you to attend not just the technical one or the mechanical one, but really both, because you each hear things from a different, you know lens and you retain things differently.

Speaker 5:

Then you can help each other out when you're out on the road and of course we've always there to help you with the phone call. But it really allows you, the consumer, the user of the product, that, let's say, you're in the middle of Alaska and a belt Breaks on your engine. Well, if you would have come to class, we would have told you you need to carry one of these belts in A sealed bag in your coach back in the storage compartment where, hopefully, you never need it. But now you're broken down alongside the road and a and a driver mechanic comes out and he says, oh, I can fix that for you, but I don't have the belt. It's gonna take me a week to get the belt up here. Um, guess what? You pull it out of the back of your coach and you're up on the road in an hour or two. It's little things like that that you get from camp freight line.

Speaker 2:

And it's little things like that that make a huge difference. Now again we're gonna embarrass ourselves. One of the things you talked about was Dan and I. People know we have a monaco. So there we were in Pennsylvania and it rained an ungodly amount and the coach sunk. So For three days Dan tried to dig us out, put rocks in my back, was killing me, I had had it and I said okay, you could keep trying to get us out, but we're sinking more. I'm gonna go in and call the insurance company. Great, the insurance company says oh yeah, this is covered, no problem, why did we wait three days? The big problem was while I'm talking to her, I'm not getting that. She understands. 40,000 pounds, right, motorhome, this thing's big. So what does she do? She sends out your regular little tow car to oh truck, yep, that maybe could have pulled little Honda out. And Then he gets there and looks at the situation and says I could get.

Speaker 2:

You guys try to do it Burn up.

Speaker 1:

The clutch is.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so then. Yeah, so then we had to call real tow truck. But what I'm also hearing, what you said today and was you should have called freight if you had a freight line of chassis. You call us first.

Speaker 5:

Call us first. Yeah, absolutely, I mean, we're here to help. I mean you're stuck inside in the mud. In this case, dan, you've dug yourself in a deep hole. Call us, we'll send out the right equipment, the right tow truck to get you pulled out on it. So, yeah, that's, that's some of the services that we provide after the sale. And so you know, patty I mean you, you and Dan have both been educated.

Speaker 5:

You understand now how important the chassis is, how important that foundation is for your lifelong journey with your coach, and so that's one of the reasons why we even participate in a Hershey show or a Tampa show, or we participate here in the aim rally Is to educate our consumers out there. So when they walk into those beautiful coaches and let's face it, these, these places are, they're absolutely, they're nicer than my home. Yes, walk inside and you turn left and you're like, oh my gosh, I wish I had this in my house. Yeah, they're gorgeous and you can get just blown away with all the Right stuff and glitz and glamour and everything is great, and you forget to do a little more research about. Well, what about the powertrain? What about the engine? What about the transmission? What's the warranty on this coach, is it? And then the manufacturer tells you it's one year, two year, but they're not talking about the chassis.

Speaker 5:

In most cases, and depending on your salesperson, they may not even know what's underneath it. And this is why we attend these events, because we think it's the foundation. It's not like when you go buy your car, a Ford pickup truck or a Toyota Land Rover, you know it's all made by toad, it's all made by the one manufacturer. In the RV industry it's not that way. Whether it's a motor oh no, there are no motorized made that way, zero. So it's always the chassis, whether it's a gasoline chassis from Ford or whether it's from GM or whether it's from FCCC on the diesel side of it. But when you get into the premium luxury market like you are in a class a diesel you really need to know what is the foundation, because it matters. It matters after the warranty period, for sure is Is how you gonna survive with that coach for 10, 15, 20 years, if that's what your dream is right.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Let's talk about that for a second, because last night I was talking with Ken Walters. Who's the president, yeah, of Jaco, jaco industry, yeah, so he's, he's the president of Jaco, he's the president of Tigray, he's, he's like the man, he's, he's, he's the man. And you know, you and I were talking last night about a project like this, this, this coach that's right out in front of us over here, that we unveiled. It's the first of its kind, it's the first freight liner on that cornerstone. Yes, and as we went through that and they gave me the keys, I got to turn on that dashboard.

Speaker 1:

What a beautiful, by the way, dashboard to to see as a driver. Everything is ergonomic, right there in front of you. Any information that you could possibly want, it's there and you can put it where your eye likes it. You can actually move that screen, or it's the greatest thing since Apple Pie.

Speaker 1:

But what I'm getting at is it's an engineering marvel and it's not just your engineering team, it's a marriage between you and, like your shirt says, and Tegra's on the right side and and the freight liner's on the left Side, right over your heart. I like that, so. So it was a marriage of those two engineering teams, and that has to be something that is very, very difficult, having worked on projects like that in the past, because your engineering team speaks Great liner, right, and their engineering team speaks Jaco, and they're two separate languages, just like English and Chinese. They don't talk the same language, yeah, so you almost need a wizard behind the the screen to make all of that thing happen. So talk to me about the process of this, from the time that you and Ken sat down and said, hey, let's do this, to the time that we unveiled that thing yesterday.

Speaker 5:

Yeah, so this, this process has been a long time actually, and Ken Ken alluded to it yesterday when we, when we revealed the cornerstone he mentioned, it was basically 12 to 18 months in the making to get to where we are now. I would actually go back a little further than that, because it's before you ever get into the engineering side. You got to make sure the companies that can work together, that the cultures are along the same lines, that they believe the same thing, that there's a Trust there and there's a connection. Right and Jaco as well as Integra. We sell to both of those companies separately. We have and we are a Supplier to Integra on the Super C product. They've been buying that product with form from us for years.

Speaker 5:

So we've had this relationship and and a business partnership with Integra for a long time and now this is the next evolution of it. But but you're right then, it doesn't. It doesn't just start once with the engineers, it's it's a little bit further back. It was prior to 18 to 12 months ago. We started talking about stuff like this many years ago and the reason we did was because customers were asking for it. They wanted a, an option for them to be able to buy a freight liner on a cornerstone or with Integra products Now they have that.

Speaker 5:

Now, they have that outfit now.

Speaker 1:

And I'm gonna tell you this, last two months for me have been really, really difficult, because the industry has told us, because of the podcast, that they want us to be here to help unveil this thing, and Next week we're gonna be at the Tampa Super Show unveiling some more stuff, and you and Tiffin unveiled some stuff a couple weeks ago as well, and Lee Tiffin, the president of Tiffin Motor Homes, yep, we'll be a guest on the RV life project podcast next week. But I've had all these secrets that I've had to keep and I don't know what I'm allowed to say, what I'm allowed to say. So we've been walking on eggshells for weeks, but the the Tiffin announcement actually came out prior to the show.

Speaker 5:

Oh yeah, no, the Tiffin announcement has been public for a little bit for a while now, and so we have been a long time partner with Tiffin for decades with with Tiffin, and what we've come to an agreement with now is we are going to be the exclusive chassis Manufacturer on the power glide, so it'll be the power glide XC be Manufactured by F triple C, going forward, actually the running down our line right now. Yes, so if a customer wants to go in and and buy a Allegro bus or a faton or something on a Tiffin and they want it on an F triple C chassis, it's now available to them and that's. That's a partnership that has been announced between Lee and myself a few months ago and it is public and it is out there, so that's not a secret.

Speaker 1:

I'm glad anymore.

Speaker 5:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

I've got no more secrets, no you do still have one, but okay. I'm gonna. I'm glad we're over that, but I you're not gonna tell me you're pregnant, are you?

Speaker 2:

Oh, my gosh, wow, I can't, I can't even but watching people like you and I'm watching you. So the next two days it's gonna be rowing for you and and people like Ken and and Brett Davis. You really are here listening to people. I could see how you're listening and it just goes back to this cornerstone on the freight liner chassis is because listening to these people, like at the you know the aim event we're at right now at the Tampa RV show, at the Hershey show You're really taking that all in, going back to your designers and saying this is what people want.

Speaker 5:

Yeah, absolutely, we have to do that. And and I guess the biggest thing I'll say on it and give it a give a the audience an analogy to think about for a second when you go buy a car, pick a Ford or a Camry or something like a Toyota Camry and you're gonna buy it, you got a choice of, you know, high-medium, low options and and and it's the manufacturer that dictates to you, the consumer, of what's available. And yeah, they'll tell you that they listen to the customer and they'll make little tweaks here and there and stuff. But the RV industry is much, much smaller.

Speaker 5:

This is a very small segment, especially in the premium segment where we're talking a class, a diesel and and Do we really do have to listen to the customers? Because these are the users, people who vacation in them or live in them full-time. And if we don't listen as a manufacturer, and if Integra doesn't listen or numar doesn't listen or Tiffin doesn't listen, the consumers will go elsewhere with it. It is not a commodity. What we build is not a car that runs down the line where we'll produce a hundred thousand a year of these things.

Speaker 2:

These are custom, these are absolutely custom-built products for a small group of people and we have to listen and we do and I see that, yes, I just watching, like I said, from afar, because, again, you know we, we've been with you for a year and a half and and certainly have Seen you this my first real experience where there really is the listening and and, going into this coach and Seeing the different, you know, from the coach stand, from from the house standpoint, seeing those different things that are added because the customer one did it. I mean I'm so excited. Now we don't have Ken here, but the cornerstone now has a freight liner chassis, but will there be others? Is this a secret? I shouldn't be feeling.

Speaker 1:

Actually, ken will be on the show and he's gonna help me answer the question of the week.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

I'm gonna save that one for Ken.

Speaker 2:

Okay, we'll save that for Ken as to what. Is so, again, the RV industry is never standing still.

Speaker 5:

No, it can't. It can't stand still. There's constant changes in it and it's and it needs to. I mean, the customers demand it and they want it. And yeah, we listen to it.

Speaker 1:

Now, Jeff, I overheard you talking to somebody at the Hershey show. How much money you spend on that display at the Hershey show?

Speaker 2:

That might be something he doesn't want to share. He doesn't want to share it online.

Speaker 5:

It's probably a good thing. I don't know the actual number. I let my team care of all that and there's some things I do need to know and my team is really good and they're smart and one of the best things they can do is not tell me how much we spend on the displays.

Speaker 1:

OK to keep your blood pressure down. I have to say it is one of the best displays in the entire show at Tampa or at Hershey. Now we're coming up on Tampa next week and you have been kind enough to allow the RV Life Podcast to come in and use your seminar space to do our podcast, and we will be broadcasting right around noon, sometimes a little earlier. Let me just throw these details in Go ahead Details.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, let me give the details, since we have the listeners the Florida RV Super Show, which starts January 17th and it's still the 21st, and I will be, as he said, in the Freightliner booth, which is a great place to come sit down. There's a tent so you can get out of the sun, grab a snack. We'll be there on Wednesday at 12 with Lee Tiffin. Thursday, friday and Saturday at 12 30. I will post the actual schedule and who's scheduled to be on. And then Sunday at 11, and we are doing something brand new we're doing a dueling podcast, so there will be two people podcasting RV destinations separate podcasting at the same time.

Speaker 2:

What could possibly go wrong right?

Speaker 5:

Fun to watch.

Speaker 2:

Fun. Yes, jeff is one of our super fans and loves when something goes awry and we kind of jump on our feet, so I'm glad you're enjoying our screw ups.

Speaker 5:

I do. I do find it humorous at times. So thank you. Thank you for that. Yes, you're welcome for the entertainment.

Speaker 1:

Now where will people be able to see Freightliner? So obviously you're here at the AIM rally. This is the pre, pre rally for the Tampa Super Show, and then there's going to be another rally in two weeks, or in a week or something next week.

Speaker 1:

Next week and you'll be at that rally as well. Yep, I'll be here next week and then let's go past that. You're going to be at the Tampa Super Show, right? I believe the booth number is three, seven zero. It's in a different spot this year I think that it was last year because they put a lake in.

Speaker 5:

Oh, ok. Well, that's good You're telling me that, because now I need to know I've got to go somewhere else, it's well it's basically the same place.

Speaker 1:

It's right outside the main expo hall, but now there's a new lake there and it's just a car pond I should call it. It's just on the other side of the pond now You're not right outside the door like you were last year, but that's OK, it's still a very good spot. So we'll be over there at the Freightliner Now. Patty and I will have a golf cart. It'll have RV Life podcast on it. If you see us, I always carry t-shirts with me. Come on up, say hello and if you scan my bar code so you know our schedule, I'll give you a t-shirt. All you got to do is scan the bar code and you see me and say hi. So we really love to interact with people. Now, after that Tampa Super Show, the next big show is Hershey in October. But we do have the event we were talking about earlier Motor City Music Expo, the Motor City Music Motor Home Expo, and you can have a VIP experience.

Speaker 5:

I'll be there as well. You'll be there, we'll be there in.

Speaker 1:

June. This will be June 4th, my birthday, and again it is my birthday. So you want to bring a present? Wow, make it unwrapped, we'll put it in a bed and then we'll donate them all to charity.

Speaker 5:

We can put a big bow on a nice new RV there for you. There you go.

Speaker 2:

I'd like Jeff's thinking, because my birthday is the month before, so it's perfect.

Speaker 1:

Do we have any more of these going down the line or this is a one-off?

Speaker 5:

The cornerstones are rolling down the line right now. Yes, yes. And actually at Integra. They start building on them next week.

Speaker 2:

The 2025. Yeah, no, yes.

Speaker 5:

But time this airs, they will be building on. They will be building on them Now.

Speaker 2:

Ken did say I was talking to him and I was allowed to say this. He said he's thinking by May you should be able to get If you order a brand new 2025, they should be able to deliver by May.

Speaker 5:

And I'm watching for Jeff shaking his head, yeah, so I don't know the full duration it takes to put that beautiful house on the chassis and move it down and get it out to a dealer, but that sounds about right to me yeah, that's what he told me.

Speaker 5:

Definitely they're running down their line next week, early January, and then obviously they've got to build the house, they've got to run it through all their quality checks and get it out to the dealer and delivery, and all that to a customer. So April May time frame sounds reasonable.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so you could if you get your order in now through Angie and NIRVC, Angie has worked Brett Davis and worked in Tegra to get you some money back.

Speaker 7:

If they're here, if they're here, only here.

Speaker 2:

Scratch that for RV Life podcast listeners.

Speaker 1:

Well, for those of you that are at Margaritaville and they're listening to this on Wednesday morning, you're still here, so you can get that extra $5,000 that Angie got out. Ok. But the big news is the really big news is that if you pay to go to this Motor City Motor Home Expo, that's a mouthful Music. City, music City.

Speaker 2:

Music City Motor Home Expo.

Speaker 1:

I'm glad there's two of us.

Speaker 2:

You said Motor City. We need to make an acronym about that. I know right MCMT, Music City.

Speaker 1:

Motor Home Expo. It will be in Wilson County Fairgrounds in Lebanon, tennessee, and if you pay to go to this, if you get your tickets to this and then you buy a motor home 2025, right 2025. Angie, right Next year with this.

Speaker 2:

A 2025 Motor Home and you buy a motor home.

Speaker 1:

We're going to give you back your fee.

Speaker 2:

Is it a 2025 or any motor home? Any motor home, oh, any motor home, ok.

Speaker 1:

But you have to say that the RV Live. Podcast and talk to Angie and they will give you your full fee for the Motor Home Expo back.

Speaker 2:

And Dan's adding some extra things here, that's right, ok, we'll get clarity. Yeah, extra requirements Mention that, yeah, that's right. Yes.

Speaker 1:

Mention that you know, dan and Patty Huntin, you will get all the money that you paid to go to this Expo back, ok, if you buy that RV. So it's a great event. It's a lot of fun. All the food is included. They've got three different bands coming there. They've got a lot. One of these bands is like, it's just the guitar players from like five other bands. These guys are the guitar players for other big name bands. They've come together and they've formed a little group and they're going to be performing at this event.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so entertainment food it's going to be incredible.

Speaker 1:

I'll tell you what. Ok, it's incredible, ok.

Speaker 2:

OK, wow, so much today.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we've got you covered, and then after that, then you're going to see us in Hershey, right?

Speaker 5:

Yeah, well, you know, we have Hershey in September. So the two main shows that we're always at is the Tampa Super Show and the Hershey Show in Pennsylvania. You'll always find Freyliner Custom Chassis at those two.

Speaker 1:

OK, so now I'm going to put you on the spot 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Your people are manning that phone number. It's a 1-800 number, there's three numbers and then it's something Frey FTL help, ftl help, ftl help. So that's the phone number, ftl. So you know those little numbers that are letters that are under the numbers F-T-L-H-E-L-P.

Speaker 2:

Whatever, those numbers are Right exactly.

Speaker 1:

Just pick up the phone and call them and they will be happy to talk to you. It doesn't matter, it could be three in the morning, it could be three in the afternoon, it could be right now. Pick up the phone and call.

Speaker 5:

Freyliner, and don't worry about how old your coach is. By the way, this is not just for the warranty period. We do offer the five-year 100,000-mile warranty best in class right now but it's beyond that. If your coach is Dan, your coach is roughly 20 years old now. Yeah, if you're on a Freyliner, call us. If you need help, call us.

Speaker 2:

That's great. Ok, so anybody that has a Freyliner. It's just the advice too.

Speaker 1:

You don't even have to be a Freyliner customer, necessarily Call right now.

Speaker 2:

You need to be a.

Speaker 5:

Freyliner, try to help out others. We do get calls occasionally for somebody who's not on our coach and we will try to help them, but that's not what we're really there for, that's not what they're there for yeah. Yeah, we have availability for our customers that are driving around our coaches.

Speaker 2:

Again Dan added lib here Just add lib.

Speaker 1:

So let's go into Camp Freyliner real quick. If you haven't been to a Camp Freyliner, you'll want to be at one, because I mean, this is your home, especially if you're full-time, like I am, and you have your home, that you're driving down the road, and basically, one lady told us it's like being in an earthquake every time you move your RV. It's like your stuff goes through an earthquake. Not with the B-Line FASI, though. Right, the B-Series, suspension, the B-Series suspension.

Speaker 2:

It's not necessarily an earthquake.

Speaker 1:

It's just a little shake back and forth, a little wiggle, yeah, back and forth.

Speaker 2:

Yeah no, ours, yeah no. This new chassis we're going to get, our ride is going to be smooth. I'm going to be able to go back to the refrigerator and make meals without moving all over the place. I can't wait. I'm so excited. Well, jeff, thank you again so much. I just this has been an unusual podcast for us. It's we've had an unveiling, we've been at this event, we've met incredible people. This has just been a way different podcast for us. I hope our listeners enjoy it. So much information here, so many great people and, again, it's always awesome hanging out with you. Personally, I love that. We got so much time to hang out and I don't even know where to go from here now.

Speaker 1:

Well, we look forward to seeing all of you at the Tampa RV Super Show and then at the Music City Motorhome Expo. Chuck, is there a? Is there a website for this? Of course there is.

Speaker 5:

MusicCityMotorhomeExpocom. Musiccitymotorhomeexpocom. We're going to say that together. We'll put it in the notes.

Speaker 1:

We'll put it in the notes. So you want to be at this event as well. I know Jeff, you'll be there, I know Brett, who's standing right behind you, will be there, I know Chuck will be there, I know Angie will be there and I know Patty will be there. It's my birthday, so I'm having a yeah.

Speaker 5:

Also all the manufacturers, all the manufacturers yes, the important people. Yeah, they'll be there too, so everybody should be there for the customer to come in and have a good chance to talk to anybody and everybody that they have any questions for.

Speaker 2:

That's great. What a great event. Yeah, can't wait so much exciting stuff.

Speaker 5:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

Can't wait.

Speaker 5:

Well, thank you again for having me on.

Speaker 2:

I really appreciate it, thank you.

Speaker 5:

It's always nice to see you and I'll see you again in about two weeks at the Tampa Super Show.

Speaker 2:

Yes, that's awesome, can't wait.

Speaker 1:

And we're going to have you over so you can tour our coach. What do we get? Over We've got a golf cart a weekend. Yeah, you can see the Monaco.

Speaker 2:

You could see the Monaco.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, Jeff. It's always a pleasure to have you on the RV Life Podcast. You are so full of knowledge and information. We just love having you here and I could talk to you for hours and hours and hours. As a matter of fact, I think I did today. This is going to be the longest podcast in the history of the RV Life Podcast, but not often do you get to be in one place where there are so many presidents and CEOs and important people within the industry.

Speaker 2:

You all heard Jeff do the countdown and this great big drape was removed from the Integra Cornerstone which is on a freight liner chassis. Now don't feel like you missed it. If you want to see the unveiling and you want to see this beautiful coach, just check out RV Life Podcast on Instagram or Facebook. The 30 second clip that covers what Jeff just talked about.

Speaker 1:

And I'll tell you what. You don't want to miss it, because it's something to see Now. That horn means it's time for today's question of the week, brought to you by Open Roads Innovative Tolling.

Speaker 2:

Now this question. So here we are, as we said at the AIM event, and we're having dinner with a lot of people, we meet a lot of people and we were getting hit with questions left and right, so this question came at us.

Speaker 1:

And it came at us more than once. So we thought that the best person to answer this question, because he was there with us, is Ken Walters, the president and CEO of JCoke Corp and Integra Motorhome.

Speaker 2:

The question people were asking if, since Freightliner now is on the Integra cornerstone, will Freightliner Chassis be on other Integra and on Anthem Inspire to come? Okay, so Anthem and Inspire are coming on the Freightliner Chassis and we hear so many secrets. We just want to be careful what we're allowed to say but that's awesome.

Speaker 5:

We want to bring this to market on the cornerstone and we're excited to offer our customers a choice on the additional products. So we're moving full speed ahead.

Speaker 2:

Okay, great, thank you, and we're excited to know it's on a we're partial to the Freightliner.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, ken. I know everybody that is an Integra lover is the happiest people in the world right now. So thank you for giving us that answer today on the RV Life podcast. Now the question of the week, as always, is brought to you by Open Roads Innovative Tolling, and we love this product.

Speaker 2:

This toll pass has been amazing. We've only had it for about a month and prior to having it, we went through Texas without it and I am now receiving the violations from those tolls. The nice thing about Open Roads, innovative Tolling when or if we should ever get a violation, they will handle it for us. Their toll pass works in all 48 states, so us going through a toll in a state and getting a violation will never happen to us again.

Speaker 1:

Now our next guest. Pat Carroll has been in this industry for over 40 years. He is a designer. He is the guy that decides what mirror goes where and all the different features and things on motorhomes. Have you ever walked through your motorhome and questioned why is that mirror right there behind in our case behind the stove like a backsplash? You can't clean a mirror back there Almost impossible. Pat Carroll is the person who made that decision back in 2002. And he apologized profusely for it to us. But I will tell you what an interesting man this is. We have had the opportunity to sit and be with Pat for quite a while and he's got a great sense of humor, a great personality. Pat, do you want to jump in here on this?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. I was just ready to jump into the interview he is. He's a really cool guy to talk to and, what I love most about him, he's willing to listen to what customers have to say. But before we get to Pat, I got to talk about something else that works really well and it's really important. So that is fresh. Tank fresh, which is a water treatment product. Rv owner, say goodbye to unpleasant water tastes and odors with clear 2-0 tank fresh. Our innovative 16 ounce treatment ensures your water stays fresh and clean without the harshness of bleach that is so important to me, and all you have to do is add an ounce per 20 gallons of water to your tank. It's that easy. Tank fresh not only freshens but also sanitizes your water system safely and biodegradably. This product is made in the USA and it is perfect for year round use. Don't let bad water ruin your adventures. Visit clear2ocom now to get your clear 2-0 tank fresh and enjoy fresh, clean water wherever you roam. Clear 2-0 tank fresh the clear solution for great tasting water.

Speaker 1:

This is the RV Life Podcast. I'm Dan Hunt and we are here at beautiful Margaritaville. We have our special guest right now. We are so excited to have with us right now a person. I've dubbed a new name for you, pat. His name is Pat Carroll. I call him Mr Motorhome. After talking to him last night, a few of us were sitting around talking and we're saying that, of everybody that has a motorhome in the whole wide world, your motorhome probably has something in it that was influenced by this gentleman sitting in front of me right now. Welcome to the RV Life Podcast, pat Carroll.

Speaker 6:

Thank you so much for a kind compliment there, Dan.

Speaker 2:

We are so excited. I do want to say before we go to Pat there has been an unveiling of the Integra Cornerstone on the Freightliner chassis. This is incredibly exciting. We're just excited. We just literally saw them pull the sheet For our RV listeners, for our RV Life Podcast listeners. We've got to paint the picture here.

Speaker 1:

Well, you can go over to the Instagram page and see the actual video of this unveiling.

Speaker 2:

I'm veiling, so go over and see it. It's the best way to do it, but it was just pulled off. They did a fantastic job because it was a little concerned. What's going to happen? So a great, big black drape and you can see it on our social media pulled off to reveal this beautiful 45 foot coach. 45 foot, yes, oh my goodness, I can't wait to get inside and see it. But let's talk to Pat, who's part of the design team.

Speaker 1:

He's not part of the design team.

Speaker 2:

He's the design team. He absolutely is.

Speaker 1:

And watching last night as the tours were going through the RV, as the tours are going through Pat. You're standing there and you were like a proud parent. Just look at it as well. I did this this way. For this reason, it was great.

Speaker 6:

Well, again, thank you. And just coming in after this post dropping of the launch here of this new product cornerstone on a freight liner chassis, and for every product guy out there, regardless what profession there is, there's always this angst moment of finishing, getting to the final finish line. And you know, we pulled the drape down and I'm studying people's faces, not just the product, and I could see the smiles, I could see the thank you, because we wanted, we wanted to meet the owner's expectations here and there's a lot of excitement out there.

Speaker 1:

I'll tell you. When we came into this event, the very first person that I saw, of course, is Tommy and Bonnie, and they're standing right in the door, right behind where we're sitting right now. They're standing at that door and she's saying you got to tell me the secret, dan. I know, you know the secret. You got to tell me the secret. I said it's a big secret, it's right over there. And she said it's going to be a cornerstone on a freight liner chassis and she said I'm in love. She said, tommy, you're out, I'm in love. If that's what it is and that's what this was.

Speaker 6:

Right and they, along with several other people throughout the years here, have been asking you know, hey, we love your coach, we love the house side of it, but we would prefer it was on a freight liner chassis. And so we answered that response and say that request, and boy, it was fantastic out there.

Speaker 2:

Okay so now I'm going to ask the tough question. Dan and I, as everybody all of our podcast listeners know we're looking for a new RV. I always focused on what was in the house, as they call it. I thought that the chassis was just the metal frame. So I'm going to be honest. So, when I found out that it is everything mechanical, safety wise for me and Dan, the freight liner chassis is most important, but share with our listeners why this is important Having your cornerstone top of the line RV and Tigris top of the line RV on the freight liner chassis.

Speaker 6:

Well, currently, right now, the cornerstone is the number one selling retail unit with the ISX Cummins engine category and we lead by far as any business. You want to grow your footprint and we were going to do that with an additional product offering on this chassis with freight liner, and we just thought it was a good fit. They offer a lot of technology, a lot of engineering resources. They're writing the coattails of Mercedes Benz, which I like. There's a lot of things that we can do as a smaller volume unit to tag off of all they have and their knowledge and that's what you like.

Speaker 2:

Now the main reason, my understanding that you decided to go with the freight liner chassis is because of customer feedback and I have to just give a shout out as Dan said, we're at the aim, which is all inclusive motor home club rally prior to Tampa, and these are obviously motor coach owners. So you got feedback from a lot of the aim clients customers to put it on this freight liner chassis, correct.

Speaker 6:

Correct and I think that one of the successes of Integra is I've been fortunate enough to be able to work every month with owners and they give me feedback, and aim rally is one of those places I go and listen and we take that feedback religiously back to our PD teams, share the thoughts. Then we have to prioritize what project gets done first and whatever, but for this it was a great fit and we look forward to the business of growing our business with the cornerstone.

Speaker 1:

Now yesterday at dinner you told me a story about testing. I think it was a sync with Angie from NIRVC.

Speaker 6:

Yes, I well, we don't. We don't unlike many. We are manufacturing, we don't like to make any pigs of our customers and we have a Blanco sync which is very popular.

Speaker 6:

And it's very pretty too, and I was very unfamiliar with that sync, and so I kindly gave Angie as a sync and I said hey, I know you're remodeling your kitchen. Would you please take a look at that and see if it stains or scratches? You know everybody always, you know sales guys always come in and say, hey, this is the next thing's best things, and slice bread. And you get it in and know it Not exactly. So I gave it to Angie and she put in her brand new kitchen, remodeled Well, like many things. Sometimes the plumber didn't hook up all the water lines and it flooded her entire kitchen floor and so that's how we do testing, and yes, Okay, so not.

Speaker 1:

Well, tell me a little bit about your history. I called you Mr Motorhome because you have influenced so many motorhomes over the year, but you started with who?

Speaker 6:

Well, 1979. Again, one of those success stories in this great country of ours. I started in the mailroom after graduating in college for Skyline Corporation, which at that time was the largest manufactured housing company and they built some travel trailers as well. And that was my start, my first love of really the industry, of the whole diesel. Part of the segment that's began in 1982, where we brought out the sports coach, had a new model and we put the rear engine diesel on a sports coach and it was the sports coach for we introduced it at the Dodger show, the old Dodger show, way back in the in back in the 80s, and then I had left coachman industries. Then I joined Harley Davidson holiday rambler and then I put the Imperial. We put a whopping 230 horsepower coach. The whole diesel business was not the horsepower level we have today. But for me as a, as a product manager, that was the best stop in my career is for mentoring purposes, and my mentor was Von Beals at Harley Davidson who actually turned that company around when they bought that from AMF and he said, pat, it's all about the product. And he taught me so much as a young man that I've carried it forward, and one of those is, you know, whether they do the Daytona bike thing or they do the Sturgis rally. They do that so they can get customer feedback. It wasn't just to also sell bikes, customer feedback and that strategy certainly paid off quite well for Harley Davidson. So then, so there went to there.

Speaker 6:

Then I went to Monaco, worked there for 16 years and then the Great Recession hit. Then I was staring out my window and Eugene, oregon and it go. What the heck am I going to do? And this company that was in Middlebury, indiana, jacob Wilbur and Darryl Bond Traeger called me and said you know, pat, we don't have. We know a lot about Tobles, but we don't know anything about motorhomes. And it wasn't even on my radar. But I felt very blessed, seriously, that I moved from Eugene, oregon back to Elkhart, where I originally was from, and started at at Chaco in 2012. And the nice thing is was my goal was always I wanted Jacob to become a motorhome company that built trailers, and I can say in the last year here, revenue dollars are higher in the motorhome side than they are in the Tobles side. So I say, mission accomplished.

Speaker 2:

There you go and I have to say so. We talk about. You know the working and knowing about what's on the Integra now with the Freightliner chassis. That's great, and talking to you over the last day or so has been awesome. You get the customer feedback. You've admitted there's no perfect, but you strive to get things better. So then it comes down to if I should have a problem. Let's talk about customer service at Integra.

Speaker 6:

Well, I think, as a gentleman who stopped me earlier before the unveiling today talked to me about one of our customer service reps, nate helped him during this New Year's Eve on four times New Year's Eve, our service tech was talking to this customer to help him through an issue that he had on his 2018 anthem.

Speaker 6:

And I tell anyone that has my business card, if you've got an issue, no matter what and I've had people call me on Thanksgiving or New Year's but that's what we're in. We're in the luxury motor coach business and you know holidays. Don't take a day off with us. We want to help our customers and we think it's very important that we do that. So I think that makes a difference. The other thing we do we offer a two year solid warranty on our coaches and we ask you to bring your coach back to the factory when it gets close to the end of the two years. Bring us your gig list and we'll fix all of it before your warranty expires, and nobody else does that. Wow, can you imagine any CFO agreeing to that?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely not, and I just have to reiterate that. There's the teacher and me, so it's a two year warranty. You tell people to bring the coach back prior to the two years, so if there's anything not working properly, you're going to fix it. Never heard of that before, anywhere, ever. That's incredible.

Speaker 1:

Now let me just say that that's on the house side. It's on anything, it's on anything. You're going to take care of the coach. We're going to take the chassis side as well. You bet we are. Wow, that's wonderful, that is absolutely wonderful. And I've got to say that you know we're around. All these presidents and CEOs are been here the last couple days Now. Your boss's boss, the president of Jaco, was with us and we were sitting having a drink last night and we're talking about things. He actually introduced you yesterday or today as the best designer in the motor home business. When did you First design? But when did you switch over from being a grunt to a designer?

Speaker 6:

That would have been in that first. That first coach was the holiday, I mean the sports coach, for was my first Design.

Speaker 1:

I checked and if you go, remember the first thing that you ever designed, that actually came to be.

Speaker 6:

Yeah and well that the first whole product was that sports coach for yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so that was, like I said, very exciting for me and you're referring to Kim Walters, who's the president and CEO of Jco and Tegra. Yeah, yes, I just want to let our listeners know, because they've not been here with us.

Speaker 6:

It's very humbling and I appreciated Ken's kind remarks but by I Wouldn't be as good as I Can said I was If it weren't for all kind input owners that, and give me the input. And the other thing I, you know, forgot to mention. You know I am a coach owner too, so I own an anthem, so I get the same user experience like gee, why can't get this part? Or how hard it is sometimes to get into a dealership, or all those other issues Out there. So I also not only are listening to customers, but I also have the same experiences with us.

Speaker 1:

You're going through it with us. I I've got to ask okay, so you also. And we drive a Monaco. As everybody on the RV life podcaster listens to it knows, we have a Monaco. It's an older unit and you're the guy that designed it. That's correct.

Speaker 2:

I, so you're to blame for those mirrors.

Speaker 6:

Yeah, the beveled mirrors and the mirror behind the, the kitchen cooked up.

Speaker 7:

Yes, yes, grease on the mirror, yes but again it's customers.

Speaker 6:

Beat the heck out of me. I had that silly idea. Those have all gone away and we've got different choices up there.

Speaker 2:

So, as a design idea, you're gonna come over to our RV now we don't have many people throw it because it's always a disaster but we took those mirrors off and I think I Created something. It was my design idea and then I let people figure it out. I think I created something incredible in place of those mirrors. So you'll let me know after we see it later.

Speaker 6:

Yeah right, I mean with the coach that we just unveiled tonight is the fact that you know Tommy Townsend and Bonnie that you alluded to earlier, would. They gave me the idea of the pull-out Swifter closets we call it to clean the tile next to the refrigerator. We worked on that. Tommy gave me the idea about the swivel dinette chairs.

Speaker 4:

What are you?

Speaker 6:

don't have to scoot. Yes, that's amazing. Do the chair hop and your coach, I mean but those are all the unique things that gives integral a little bit different advantages, because we are living through the eyes of the owners Right and somebody walked into the coach and I like this door so I'm gonna give our listeners.

Speaker 2:

There's a resonant or refrigerator, and right next to it it's about four or five, six inches deep here and it pulls out and it's wide, yeah. But you really kind of made it a blank slate. So somebody walked into the coach while I was in there and she pulled it out and she said I could put some spices up here and then I could have put my Swiffer in there. So I'd like that. You made it a sort of a blank slate, like I can now Easily put whatever I want in there. That works for what we're doing. I just have to stop, damn, from trying to put our Equipment stands. We've got all these.

Speaker 1:

A stand, a stand stand that you're right now.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I've just got to keep it from doing that, but yes, it's got so many uses.

Speaker 6:

What's the funny thing? You kind of said there Well, there was just a little bit of space of like six inches and it was like you know how many times have been clubbed when somebody takes me by the back of the neck and into a coach and go, you've got six inches of waste. Yes, I got. I got to tell you a funny story that Dan usually tells.

Speaker 2:

So we get into our Monaco and you know better than most people there is cabinets everywhere, but there's also wasted space. So, in our bedroom there is a big closet and it is huge. So I'm looking at the shelves in this closet and I said wait, there's this space that was probably three inches deep and but probably three feet high Maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit and I was like that's useful space. So I go out to the front of the coach, I get the drill gone. He's like what are?

Speaker 1:

you doing? She's taking apart the back of the coach, but I took.

Speaker 2:

What it was meant for is some people had the washer dryer combination back there, right, so I even figured that out myself. I was very proud of myself. But I took that whole back panel off because there's nothing there. So now I'm more space for my shoes. So I found find every inch of space in that coach to use. You know something to be put there right now have you yourself.

Speaker 1:

You live in an anthem music right now, and before that you lived in the same unit. I have a dining estate yet yeah ours, yeah ours is just a little older, yes, but anyway, have you ever gone by something or worked with something every single day and say why did I do that? Knocked yourself up for it.

Speaker 6:

Well, it's funny you say that because when you're the product guy and you're in your older model, sometimes I I wanted to fire that product guy at Monaco when I was in it a few times because, again, the user experience, the interface with all the controls and switches and the doors and all that, yes, you don't, you can't get it unless you actually live in it for a few, a week or two, and then you can go gosh, what you thought was it? You know, like when I get owners, sometimes they'll they'll tell me, go. You know, pat, you're lighting over in this area. It really is not very good and my smart Alec responses while we build them during the day. But you know it doesn't make it right right right.

Speaker 1:

Well, I will tell you, for the most part, we love our Monaco. It's older, it's 2002. We did tear out the whole inside. We put a new refrigerator in, we put a new table unit in, we put new couches in but we've learned that there are floor heaters and 360 cameras and safety features and Massages in my chair while you're driving us down the road some of the things that I'm looking for.

Speaker 2:

But I got spoiled checking out some of these new units and when I check out this cornerstone, you're in trouble, because there's stuff on there, I'm sure. Oh yeah.

Speaker 1:

I'm gonna want a massaging chair.

Speaker 6:

Yes, I think the Technology end of where it's gone, you know, and especially with that 360 Camera in the site and visibility. And then we have the larger screen, you know, of showing the whole 360 camera, 11 by 17 Portrait screen and the visibility, and then you know it's it. They are big machines but again, just like cars, automobiles, we used to have to turn our next to see what we were gonna back into and all that's gone and now I could park a car straight, so now we can use our motorhomes a lot, you know, lot less angst in some of the tighter parking spots.

Speaker 1:

We're gonna have Jeff Souther from freight liner on yes, a little bit later and we're talking about this cornerstone outside. That we've all been through and so it's it's a freight liner chassis and it's a Integra cornerstone, but the the design of the dashboard and the steering wheel. It's very ergonomic me when I sit in that chair and you graciously let me turn it on so I could see all the displays and see how it looked. It's like all the information is where it's supposed to be and I can see where my older unit to 2002, monaco.

Speaker 1:

I have been down to see how fast.

Speaker 2:

I'm going unless I have my GPS on the top right, I was just gonna say it doesn't even like it's night and day this these 22 years now it's it's totally night and day.

Speaker 1:

Well, the buttons that are all beside me. It's yes, in 2002 they loaded up buttons, they, they, they have more buttons in that thing and they all have little, Little teensy labels on them. So while I'm driving down the road it's like where's the air horn?

Speaker 2:

I can't find that For those of our listeners. He's looking not in front. Hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, he's looking down at them. So again, technology is. You can't even compare it.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's changed our living experience.

Speaker 6:

Because on that, on the older coaches, like on your Monaco, and I call them old darn moment moments, how do you like I cleaned it up, thank you. But since all of America is under construction, you know, and those concrete barriers always seem to get a little closer, and when you're going through them, it's really nice to have all controls on the steering wheel and that's what you get with the freight liner, and then the octave view and all the other things, collision mitigation. But the nice thing is you're never ducking your head down to look down. And in the older days, on the older miles, your two buddies where your two exterior mirrors left and right. Now you've got other safety features, from the radar detection to the 360 camera, to the collision mitigation. I mean, we've come a long long way.

Speaker 2:

I'm even going to With the help of Angie, who are gonna have on next. I'm even going to start driving the coach because I haven't driven our old, worn out, not safety features, so I'm going to actually drive it great someday well, I'd love to take you on your maiden voyage.

Speaker 6:

I would love to have a date with you, because I think when some people talk to me and they go my gosh, I think so big and bad. But you know what? I'd rather drive an Integra coach Front engine, I mean rear engine, diesel, with all the view of the safe view dash and the cat forward design. Then those class C units, because I think the visibility and sight lines are much better, right, really, frankly, do but I don't know how you do that, that that camera that's up above.

Speaker 1:

You have a satellite following me around and showing me all the sides of that camera. It's, it's incredible.

Speaker 6:

Well, thank you, thank you, the team back at the Middle Bear. We've got such a great team and bunch of people that understand and we're in our own separate facility at the Jacob campus. We Leverage our purchasing power through the 50,000 travel trailers and fifth wheels are glue, screws and everything else we buy better than anybody else in the motorhome business. But then 73% of the build material that we use on Integra coach is used nowhere else on the Jacob campus. That's how unique it is to the luxury motor.

Speaker 2:

And what's even better is Everybody in our listening audience heard that we have a date to go on the main void.

Speaker 1:

Leave it to Pat Carroll to ask my wife on a date on my show right in front of me.

Speaker 6:

There'd be no surprise to anybody that knows me, because you know what we all all of us here have a passion about the lifestyle and driving motorhomes, and it just runs in our bloodlines now.

Speaker 1:

Are you going to be at the Tampa Super Show in a couple weeks here? Yes, I will be.

Speaker 2:

The Florida Super Show, which is January 17th to 21st. You'll be there the whole time. Pat will be there, all lot, all of the people we're talking to. Chuck's over there shaking his head. Chuck from aim will be there. So many great people.

Speaker 1:

Let's just take a stop and and for one second with Patty, let's talk about. You go to a lot of events. You guys host your own events and you go to a lot of other people's events, like this one. I have to say that Patty and I go to a lot of events every year as well, and the aim rallies are by far, in my opinion, the best in the entire industry that you know the, the way that they take care of their people and their customers, and the family atmosphere that they create, and the different foods that we have and the different, you know little presents that they give us at the RV every single night. It's all because of this man right next to us right here, chuck and his team. It has just been an incredible experience for us.

Speaker 2:

It really really is.

Speaker 6:

I couldn't agree more and I think what they do is, having being myself in the fourth quarter of life, we're not ready to go, and there's so much activities and friends. I met a gentleman here last night prior to us unveiling, and he he he came From abroad, from Korea, but started here in America working. He actually laid the floor at the Grand Old Opera.

Speaker 6:

So next time you're looking at that floor, but my point is those are the kind of people you meet very, very successful, very smart. Yes, husband and wife's just really great, great people and they're all successful people and and very smart.

Speaker 1:

So I really I agree and you know, last night I was standing right where you're sitting and I think Brett was there and Jeff was there and a gentleman came over to us. He was not a part of the aim rally, he just saw all the flags and the brand new coach that we have out here. It was still there, you know, in the black cover, and he's like what's going on and the name rally and the guys like this is incredible, how do I be?

Speaker 2:

a part of it and he started signed up for aim.

Speaker 1:

He actually signed up for a cruise or two Because of this rally. And you know what's also great is, it's not a heavy sales event. Yet there are different vendors here throughout, you know like talking about services sitting in the retro band booth, which is one of my favorite products in the RV industry. I just think it's the greatest thing since Apple Pie, right there sitting next to you, and we have fantasy vacations is right there, and there's some, there's a new product?

Speaker 4:

I don't know, the number.

Speaker 1:

I can't read it from over here, but there's a new garment out 1085.

Speaker 2:

I got it right. I'm the new 10 90.

Speaker 1:

It's huge that screen and one of the problems that I just said to Patty the other day that I'm having, we had to relocate our GPS so she could see it too and and I'm having a hard time See, especially with the Sun coming. Yet you know, those designers design those windows.

Speaker 2:

So we don't have to worry about all that, because our new coach will have it built into the dash.

Speaker 6:

As I tell everybody, we got it all fixed for you on that new coach.

Speaker 6:

Yeah, we don't have to worry about any of that and I think I think that's the seriously the the Brilliance of the leadership Brett Davis brings and changing the venue and I'm not, I'm I Like people trying new things in the business than the same old place yes, same old. You know, let's get our zippy chairs out and hold the yawning and look like we're sitting there all day Versus really learning experience each other and having fun events. And that's what Chuck and in his whole team does here and everybody's on standby to make it a very nice event forever absolutely, you know.

Speaker 1:

But it takes a Village to get something like this done. It really takes it. You know, like you need the king, you need the leader that gets everything set up and everything going and has the, the vision for what this event is. But the people that work you know full-time 20, they're always here working. They're always doing something. It is just a great event to be on totally agree.

Speaker 6:

Totally what a great event it was and what a Again the appreciation of the owners on the unveiling tonight. And gosh, and from a product guy you could kind of just exhale for a second.

Speaker 4:

Because you know.

Speaker 6:

I've got some things that may have been not the best in the world, and that's why I'm gonna be first-round ballot on the RV Hall of Shame.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome Well you'll get that first-round Hall of Shame for those mirrors in the monaco. I gotta do those mirrors?

Speaker 6:

they were well, but I got some nice mirrors in my house over that.

Speaker 2:

We see. We see how this works. So, as Dan and I talked about Pat, we're gonna have to have you back on the RV life podcast and just do a whole show with you. It will be fun, entertaining, informative.

Speaker 1:

We are so looking forward to it what we had a 15 minute segment. We've gone 31 minutes.

Speaker 2:

We've almost done a whole show because we have so interesting to, but let's, I want to just go back and talk about how we Started. We were in Virginia at my brothers and we see National Indoor. We had heard of it. Rv life, patrick and Andy from RV life talked about National Indoor and I said look, dan, there's a national indoor just 15 minutes away. And we went over and we stopped in and from the moment we walked in the door, we felt part of the family. And then we met you, brett and Dan, and I just go by feel of people. They have to have integrity and really care and, brett, you are the person that cares about the customer for sure. So I want to thank you for that. To start now, but, Thank you, paddy.

Speaker 4:

That's Well, very humbling, and I also wanted to thank you, dan, earlier and I Guess to put a finer point on it. I'm continually reminding our people that our relationship With our customer begins at the delivery. That's not where it ends.

Speaker 1:

That's not where it ends. Yes, that's absolutely 100%. And if you haven't been to National Indoor's facility in Texas. But where are?

Speaker 7:

six locations Louisville, Texas.

Speaker 1:

Louisville, texas, is where that one is. That's your home office per se, right?

Speaker 4:

Yes, that's where we started. That's where you started not our largest, but it was our first.

Speaker 1:

It's not your largest, but I got to tell you as an RV owner, when you drive into this facility, you are driving into Disneyland. It is incredible. I mean, there's a paint shop, there's a body shop, there's a service shop.

Speaker 2:

There's a little campground.

Speaker 4:

There's a campground.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, brett's office is there and they have a really cool Boardroom or conference room. I guess you would call it Popcorn too, I didn't get popcorn.

Speaker 2:

I love popcorn. I didn't get popcorn. I didn't get popcorn.

Speaker 1:

Okay now before we get into the meat of this interview. Before I do an interview, I always do an edification, so I have this to do and I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna do it with the music, so stand by here, watch your air spread, because this might be a little bit loud. This is the RV live podcast. I'm Dan Hunt with my Incredible wife, patty Hunt. She's sitting right next to me here and I will tell you.

Speaker 1:

We are at Camp Margaritaville at the AIM rally, and this has been an event to die for. As a matter of fact, there are people just driving by and one gentleman was driving by, saw all the commotion, the action that was going on, all the Flags and the new coach. He came in and he joined the AIM group. He was from Canada, he's got a cute little wife. They were talking to us last night here. They bought a cruise along with the AIM people. This is it's that kind of an event. If you are here, you feel like you are at home with family and it is just been absolutely wonderful.

Speaker 1:

Now I've been saying all we kid, that's that we've been here. There are presidents here, there are CEOs here, there are important people in the RV industry. But nobody knows more about the RV industry than the man sitting right across the table at me, brett Davis. I have learned more from him. You know, we were having dinner one night, maybe a year ago in Texas, and he pulls out his cell phone and he's showing me registrations from every state in the country. He knows what this industry is, he knows the top products in this industry and that's why he is an Integra dealer, a Tiffin dealer, a Winnebago dealer. What else am I missing? Newmar Newmar? Oh yeah, sorry.

Speaker 2:

Casey is in Newmar. We got Newmar out there. We've got Gretch. That's a new company, correct? Yes, okay, we'll talk a little bit about that.

Speaker 1:

Holiday Rambler. Holiday Rambler, Fleetwood.

Speaker 2:

So I'm gonna answer the tough question now why is it important? We've met a lot of people from a lot of dealerships. Why is it important Once we've chosen our RV, or we're thinking about the RV? Why is it important to choose the right dealership? And I'm putting you on the spot.

Speaker 7:

Well, I always tell our guests that I truly believe this too, that who you buy from is as important as what you buy. Because when you are out on, you know in Gallup, new Mexico and broken down because these things happen you know they're built by men so usually they'll break. But you know you wanna make sure that you have a dealer that you can call and that you're gonna get the help. And it doesn't matter if you saved whatever percent when you bought that coach. If no one answers the phone you call and they're not there to support you after the sale, you're not going to enjoy the RV lifestyle, and that's what we're all about. So we really want to give the experience, give those adventures to our customers, because they are living the life, the dreams in the RV that they've been planning for years and years and years.

Speaker 1:

Let me just say a little bit of something about National Indoor RV Centers. They make MotorKitsch, motorcoach ownership simple. Now, the company was founded by Brett Davis, who is sitting right across from me right now, with the concept to offer Contrier service to you, the owner. Now their company operates under the promise of the Golden Rule and their belief in exceptional customer service that, angie was just talking about. Empathy, respect and genuine understanding of you, the RV owner, and your needs is what NIRVC all about, and that is why Patty and I would not buy an RV from anybody else ever.

Speaker 1:

It's gotta come from these guys right here, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

It's just really, really incredible.

Speaker 1:

To your point.

Speaker 2:

it's important and we've heard a lot of horror stories about dealerships. I won't go down that rabbit hole, but it's important when I drive my RV off to know that I'm protected when I'm on the road, that somebody's gonna pick up the phone and care. And we've been to two of the facilities now and talked to so many people with National Endure and it is absolutely our choice. Now you have six locations across the country. There is, if I am, we're here in Florida and I keep putting it out to the universe I am not leaving Florida with this unit.

Speaker 7:

I love hearing that Patty.

Speaker 2:

I'm putting it out to the universe, but there's not an NIRVC location in Florida. You should probably have one here.

Speaker 7:

Well, that's definitely in the plans, we will be in. Florida at some point in time. Okay, I didn't know that.

Speaker 2:

There you have it. So now for us if we find that perfect coach in Las Vegas, you've got a special program for that right.

Speaker 7:

We have a fly to buy, so not a fly to shop, but you can still do that. Luckily, most of our locations were located really close to airports. So you know, we have a lot of people that store with us because we store our coaches plugged in 50 amp service, valet service. So people that live out of the states that we, you know, have our dealerships in, they will store their coaches with us, fly in and then pick up their coach and hit the road. So we have the fly to buy. So all you have to do is we will face time with you, we will do as much as we can to make you feel like you know the coach that you're coming to pick up, and then we will give you one way tickets for you and your significant other to fly one way to come and pick up your coach. That's great.

Speaker 2:

That sounds cool.

Speaker 1:

Now you know I want to ask something that just it's been bothering me since we talked about it the other night. We were sitting at dinner. We're talking to a couple there and her thoughts were that you, because you own a dealership, can take a different coach home every night.

Speaker 2:

Well, he could, but I don't think you'd be profitable.

Speaker 1:

As we sit in our coach right now and we're talking to Angie about different coaches, I am not getting to sleep at night because I'm thinking about moving all the stuff that we have from our coach into your coach. That's going to be my coach.

Speaker 2:

I will happily do it. I will happily make it happen for you. You could sit back, relax and I will do it.

Speaker 7:

I'm not a determined woman.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, tell me about the experience of you know you have been in a few coaches over time. We talked about that. Tell me about the experience of moving from your first coach your second. Well, my first coach was 1985.

Speaker 4:

That's when I started. Yes, I've been through several coaches, sold the house in 13 and have been living full time since 2013. And when you talk about anyone who's on the coach, well, first, when you move from a home into a coach, it's very liberating. My possessions had possessed me at that point. It was very liberating to get rid of them all and move into a coach. I already love the lifestyle. It turned the whole country into our backyard years ago.

Speaker 4:

But you're kind of picking at a scab here, Dan, because there was one year 1921, or 2021. No, I don't like moving. It's a lot of work to move from one coach to another. Yep and Angie, if y'all remember, COVID product was hard to come by and the sales team wanted to be able to sell my coach. Long story short, that was a most frustrating year. They sold my coach 11 times and one of those times they thought I had a coach to move into that did not come in and so I came home, because I travel a lot. I came home to find all my belongings and garbage bags in our storage facility and I lived in a hotel for two months.

Speaker 7:

Really grumpy, by the way.

Speaker 4:

So the answer to your question. After that we reached a compromise of twice a year as the max. I prefer once a year.

Speaker 2:

Wow, twice a year. Wow, it's been a lot of work.

Speaker 2:

But, I do love what you said about it being liberating, and I have to say, because we talked to a lot of people, we lived in a great big house. My walking closet was about the size of the RV let's just get real and I had to start getting rid of stuff and it was. I mean, it's an emotional process. We have five kids, so we had all kids, stuff that we had accumulated, but liberating is a great word for it. Now my idea of what's important and some of the material things that were important no longer are Well anyone who knows me, I have nine kids, twenty-seven grandkids.

Speaker 4:

No, there were no twins in there.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 4:

When you move from a house to a coach, there is a lot to get rid of and what I found very interesting is the kids didn't want any of it, you know it only meant something to me. It meant nothing to them, exactly.

Speaker 1:

It amazes me. We had the most beautiful China that my mother had had and it was a service. My mother was an entertainer, material, yeah, so she had parties for 20 and 30. So it was a service for 48.

Speaker 2:

Wow.

Speaker 1:

And not one, so there was enough to get eights for every kid that we had. Not one of those kids wanted this beautiful, beautiful China.

Speaker 4:

Been there, done that. It killed me China furniture yes.

Speaker 2:

Yes, wow, yeah, we accumulate. Now, one of the things you said I want to go back to, because Dan and I are full-time. You're full-time, brett, but you really cater to the part-time person. So you have this, as Dan calls it I guess you call it a Marina concept, where, when they're storing their RV so talk a little bit about that, I'm pointing to either of you, whoever wants to take it.

Speaker 4:

Yes, when you're talking about our stories, that's truly concierge. We have our own. We call it a coach location system. We developed it. Every coach that comes on our property the bar code put in the passenger side lower windshield. And that bar code not only lets us know because look at each one of our properties we have anywhere from 550 units to over 1200 units on site at any one time between storage, inventory and service. Those all have to be plugged into 50 amp service all the time and our valets need to know where all those coaches are all of the time. So every time a coach is moved they scan that bar code in the windshield and then they scan the bar code of the pedestal where it's plugged in so we know where it's at.

Speaker 4:

But it's much more than that. It's a database on all those coach owners. So our valets know exactly what you want done when you pick up your coach, what you want done when you drop off your coach, what air pressure you want in each one of your tires based on your weight, whether you want us to fill your tank before you depart or fill it when you return, whether you want the bugs washed off, just the cap or complete Right down to now, more of our storage customers don't tow. They actually will leave their car with us. We put their car in the building and then, yes, we offer services for their car wash, detail, ceramic coat, oil, change, those sorts of things. So that bar code also means, as you travel the country and pull into any one of our other locations, one quick scan and the entire team knows your history, knows your expectations, knows what they need to do.

Speaker 2:

Wow. So that's even beyond what. I love talking to you guys because I always learn something new. I come to the AIM events so literally somebody pulls their coach in they could pull their tow car in you will take care of everything. I'm assuming they call up and say next week I'm going to pick it up, make sure it's got gas, it's windshield wiper fluid, whatever it needs, and you take care of, shine it up and they are ready to take off. That is awesome.

Speaker 4:

They can call email text or most of them just go to our website, punch in their key name and password and then just schedule their departure. But the real convenience that our storage customers like is upon return they give us a list of repairs they need done and it's our job to work with the factory warranty or their extended service plan to make sure those repairs are all done before they depart again.

Speaker 1:

So literally when we were there. The best part when we were there is they filled the diesel up and they used his credit card. Yeah, you wish.

Speaker 2:

Let's not put that out to our listeners, so they don't expect that, but I mean to be able to pull in and say, hey, this is what needs to be done. Let me get on an airplane, fly wherever again we're full time, I can imagine. For a part-timer that just sounds incredible. I don't have to worry about something getting done, you take care of it. It's a great service. And when you walk into these locations we've said it before you truly feel like family. That's what we say on our advertising, and I mean it's true. You feel like family.

Speaker 4:

Thank you, patty, but that is and has always been our mission from the get-go. I've said it many times to our people People don't want I wouldn't, they don't want to come visit us. Nobody buys these coaches to come in to have them repaired. It's like going to the hospital. But if you are going to come to us, the least we can do is make you feel comfortable. We'll make our home your home, and that's why it's everything. We have large properties.

Speaker 4:

We want everyone wearing blue so any customer can quickly identify who works there. Our employees work in a three-foot bubble, meaning they see someone they don't know within three feet. They are to greet them, they are to ask if they can help. So we want people feeling that way Because in return, I can tell you I feel that way. These aim rallies are truly the best part of my job. It feels like a mini family reunion every time I come and it's not lost on me. In fact, it's humbling that all these people who attend and we have wait lists again they don't need to come to these rallies. I need them here. They don't need to be here, and so no.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they truly want to be here, and I will tell you something.

Speaker 4:

It is a family feel.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, something you said I'm going to disagree with. Actually, Like I said, Dan and I have been to two of the locations and I don't want to have to pull in to get a repair or something done, but I can't wait to go to all the locations. I mean I truly love. Now, Dan did I are weird that way. We love sharing information and hey, here we are in the Las Vegas and this is what there is. So that's Dan and I, we love coming and we made a stop into the Dallas location and sat down with you and we would have stayed for a couple of days because we just enjoy the atmosphere. I mean truly enjoy the atmosphere.

Speaker 1:

It really when we were pulling out of your facility and this trip we were coming from Albuquerque, new Mexico, and we're coming through Dallas, and we were on our way to Disney and I said, patty, I think we got to Disney early because this feels like Disney.

Speaker 1:

I mean, it just was really that nice to be there. Now I do want to talk about the conversation that the three of us had in your conference room, and it's about the product that is actually sitting right next to us right now. I love this thing. Now, can you tell me the grassroots story of this entire system Retro band? Is that what we're talking about? Retro band yeah.

Speaker 2:

When you're pointing. I got to let my listeners know what you're pointing to.

Speaker 1:

And I'm pointing at it with my second favorite product.

Speaker 2:

I'm glad I'm here to share.

Speaker 1:

Let's talk about the grassroots story. Where did this product come from?

Speaker 4:

Well, as I mentioned, I purchased my first coach in 85. And from 1985 to 2018, my number one fear about motor homing above all was a front tire blowout. Right, it's the exception, not the rule, to keep the coach upright and on the road when you have one of those. And after starting National Indoor in 2009, we lost more than a dozen good customers to front tire blowouts. Oh, tragic. We had a gentleman from Australia, a customer who came to purchase a coach from us in 2015. I eat lunch and dinner every day. I prefer to do it with a customer Went to lunch with him that day. He happened to own the largest defense company in Australia, providing armor to the Australian military as well as eight other countries.

Speaker 4:

We got into discussion about front tire blowouts and that's where the development, exactly where the engineering and the testing and everything started. In fact, when we went to name the product, we had an online competition. We selected the top 300, submitted them for trademark and could not get trademark. So the name retro band. What smart attorney of ours came up with is if you have your name, you can trademark it. So, retro band. We put Brett and Rob on a chalkboard and started playing with it. The RETT comes from my name, that's the rep, the ROB is Rob, and then we added Ann to it and with that they gave us a trademark.

Speaker 2:

Wow, that's cool. I haven't heard that story. We've been talking about retro band since we met you and I haven't heard that story. That's cool. Dan asked.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I wanted to hear where it came from yes, that's great as far as testing. These were designed specifically for the sudden and instant impact of the heavy front end weights of these coaches, and it's been a long process. We have blown 16 tires on coaches at the Nevada Auto Testing Center over the years testing it. One of those 16, Rob and I was driving a brand spanking new cornerstone.

Speaker 1:

And I'm going to put this video. There's a video of this, of you driving. How fast were you going?

Speaker 4:

70 miles. Set the cruise at 70 miles an hour 70 miles an hour.

Speaker 1:

He's driving along, he doesn't look concerned, he doesn't look afraid, he's just driving along and he's happy. He's go lucky and some explosive experts blows one of those tires.

Speaker 4:

That's correct.

Speaker 1:

That's trust. It makes a big sound.

Speaker 2:

That's trusted your product. So, yes, we definitely will put that video in.

Speaker 1:

We'll put that video in our show notes.

Speaker 4:

I'm making it. You zoom in a couple of things there. Yes, I knew at some point they were going to blow the tire, but the cruise control didn't Right Right and I intentionally had my right leg underneath the chair driver seat because I didn't want at the moment to be tempted to hit a brake Right. So no, that happened. But if you zoom in right there, three feet from the driver's side of that coach is a four foot drop off. So yeah, the product not work.

Speaker 1:

Had the product not work, you would have been spinning over.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we don't know. I don't even want to think about it.

Speaker 4:

We've had now 57 customers have blowouts with retro band and every one of them's performed 57. That video.

Speaker 1:

Wow, that is just, and I tell you what any chance that I get, and I'm talking to people. Or we actually pulled into our partners campground in Kansas and they had had a blowout. A gentleman had a blowout and a brand new Fleetwood took out all the boxes on that driver's side. The all the boxes were taken out. You know we were trying to bend the metal back so he could move and, you know, get himself back into order. But it was he was. This was two hours later he's in the campground with the camper that got towed there and he's still shaking. Oh, I can't imagine. And then you and I watched some video of some tractor trailers that have had blowouts and you know professional drivers and tractor trailers that are well maintained and those things. That thing came right across that center median probably 50 yards because they didn't have the retro because they didn't have the retro band.

Speaker 1:

And that's what happens when you get a blowout it wants to go the way your coach or your truck wants to go the way of the blowout.

Speaker 4:

Yes, yeah, it was from the dash cam of one of our customers right mountain air, who was very lucky Right. And we got semi coming through the median and to swerve and to stop without hitting it, but you're correct.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was scary. But listen, nirvc is a dealership. They're looking to sell RV. So I've got to go back to Angie and talk to her about what are listeners when they say hey, I want to check out a new coach, tell us about you, have new and use motor homes.

Speaker 7:

Yes, we have new used, we have we've taken consignment. So really our goal at National Enduro RV centers is to put you in the coach that will make you happy. So there's, you're not going to be high pressure sold at one of our dealerships. So our um, we have RV lifestyle specialists. So they are there to listen to you, to hear what you're you're saying you want, and then find that for you. So a lot of our customers have already shopped online.

Speaker 7:

Others are brand new to the RV and lifestyle and and they don't know what they're looking for. So you kind of have to walk them through that you know, and so that's really we start there and then really develop that relationship so that we know what you want, put you in the right coach. I always say, if we put you in the right coach, you're going to be happier longer. And still, people find things that they may want, they may want to upgrade or, um, some people have have had a nice big 45 foot coach, Like we have here today, but then, um, you know, whatever happens, they feel like they might need something a little bit smaller. So they want to downsize. Maybe they don't want to lose all those, um, luxury features that they have in their 45 foot coach, but something smaller. So we're there to help them navigate that and put them in the right coach.

Speaker 1:

You know, one thing I want to talk about, and and the right coach is so important. Having the right coach, your coach first coach could be your last coach If you buy it from the right people. Right, having national indoor is the right people. And another reason that national indoor is the right people is this product right here that you guys? Is it exclusive to you guys?

Speaker 7:

It is.

Speaker 1:

It's an exclusive product to national indoor, so we're going to do a free commercial for this one, because it's a product that I love, I absolutely love. If you ever, ever, ever, have dreamed of or thought of, or been afraid of, or had a nightmare of having a fire in your coach, this product is called pro tang fire suppression system. And it is. Did I say it right?

Speaker 2:

I said it, she did.

Speaker 4:

It stands for protect your engine.

Speaker 1:

Oh wow, the product came out of the racing circuit, formula racing circuit, so so if I'm correct, I am holding in my hand and, patty, can you get a picture of what I'm holding in my hand while I'm holding it in my hand in this beautiful setting at Margaritaville? There we go, so we'll put this picture up on Instagram. Now, this plastic, the white part that you see if you go over to Instagram and take a look at it, that's kind of like a tubing. If I looked at the again, all I've done is look at the brochures on this product. So this is kind of like a tubing and you install this tubing throughout the key areas of the engine compartment and a few other key areas on the coach. If you want, those are optional areas. Yes, the pro tang fire suppression system, available exclusively at NIRVC dealerships.

Speaker 2:

We just want to thank again Brett and Angie for being on the show for this amazing event that aim puts on and they put on it. It's something like 46 events a year, so we are so grateful to be here at this event.

Speaker 1:

Now we also want to thank our other guest. We had Jeff from Breitliner, we had Pat from.

Speaker 2:

Integra.

Speaker 1:

And who else did we have on this show?

Speaker 2:

Tim Walters from Integra and Jaco.

Speaker 1:

And Jaco yep.

Speaker 2:

And, wow, it's been a long couple of days, so who else did we have?

Speaker 1:

Now we are going a little bit long. We want to thank and you, the RV life listener, for going. We're just a little over two hours on this show, so we went a little bit long and Ken Walters his full interview, didn't even make the show. We're going to catch up with Ken somewhere else and we'll get a whole show just with Ken Now. We did a whole show with Ken last year. If you want to listen to Ken talk about Integra that show in the show link notes, but for right now you are listening to the RV life podcast.

Speaker 1:

I'm Dan Hunt with my incredible wife, addy Hunt, and we want to remind you to have a great rest of today.

Speaker 2:

And an even better day tomorrow.

RV Industry's Best Kept Secret Revealed
Freightliner Chassis Importance in RV Industry
Freightliner and RV Owner Education
Revealing Partnerships and Listening to Customers
Upcoming RV Shows and Services
Freightliner Chassis on Integra Cornerstone
Motorhome Industry History and Customer Service
Designing and Upgrading RV Interiors
Aim Rallies and Chuck's Team Praise
National Indoor
Choosing the Right RV Dealership
RV Storage and Customer Service
Retro Band and Pro Tang Fire
Highlights From the RV Life Podcast