Temperatures wouldn’t budge from the high 80s and there was no wind to speak of, but Mike Arnau was scooting between travel trailers, modified vans and 40-foot motor homes at Palmetto RV earlier this week.
“You’re gonna like this one,” he told two guests, who were hustling to keep up. The 2009 Tiffin Phaeton he picked out was priced at $169,000. “It’s a road machine.”
As reported by the Post and Courier, there are a lot of those “road machines” these days at the Mount Pleasant, S.C., dealership.
In the past year, Palmetto RV solidified its lineup of new North Trail 21- to 33-foot travel trailers by Heartland, parking 30 of the latest 2016 models side by side. The business intends within two weeks or so to open an accessories outlet so customers can pick up parts and gear east of the Cooper, he said.
Arnau’s wife, Lin, just launched a rental center where customers can lease campers and RVs for a few days to weeks-long trips as far as the Grand Canyon. The first rented motor home left on Monday for an eight-day excursion to Virginia, she said. The model: a 2014 Class C Jayco Redhawk with only 10,000 miles on it.
“People want to see America,” Mike Arnau said. Customers are “mostly people retiring who don’t want to sit at home and get old.”
To assist the beginner motorhome owner, Palmetto RV maintains a camping and drivers school operated out of the KOA campground in Mount Pleasant. “A lot of people say they’d like to get one, but they don’t know how to drive it,” he said.
There’s also a new main office to go along with a full-time service center.
Perhaps most notably, the venture continues with its signature business of buying used RVs in trade, fixing them up like new and reselling the 4- to 12-year-old Monacos; Fleetwoods; and Winnebagos among others for $75,000 to close to $200,000, or half to two-thirds their original prices.
All this growth has doubled the size of the company, which now has 10 employees. “It’s gotten a lot bigger,” says Ross Holmquist, general manager. “Sales have been steady. It changes but all in all, you can tell the economy is picking up.”
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