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David Garvin

David Garvin

It is with sadness that Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises LLC announce the passing of Camping World founder David Garvin on Saturday (Aug. 30) at the age of 71 as a result of an accidental fall.

“Our hearts, prayers and gratitude are extended to the Garvin family on the loss of one of the greatest pioneers in our industry’s existence,” said Marcus Lemonis, CEO and chairman of Camping World and Good Sam. “On behalf of all 6,000 Camping World and Good Sam employees and customers, we will forever recognize and celebrate his life and be grateful for his vision and leadership.”

Garvin founded the retail chain Camping World in 1966 at the age of 23, when he saw a market for RV accessories among campers visiting his father’s Bowling Green amusement park, Beech Bend. What began as a small store and a mail-order business that sold camping products and supplies has expanded to over 100 RV SuperCenters across the United States.

David Garvin was a 2009 inductee into the RV Hall of Fame. “He revolutionized the marketing of RV aftermarket products and services with customer satisfaction as the guide,” according to the RV Hall of Fame. His personal philosophy of “No unhappy customers — not even one,” helped him to change the face of the RV accessory business in America, leading many RV dealers to change the way they served their customers with aftermarket supplies.

In honor of Garvin’s legacy, all Camping World and Good Sam RV SuperCenters will fly their flags at half-staff as a symbol of respect immediately through sunset September 7.  Employees nationwide are also requested to wear black apparel on the day of Garvin’s funeral to recognize the loss as a company.

Funeral arrangements are pending under the direction of JC Kirby and Son Funeral Chapels of Bowling Green,