2019 is shaping up to be the busiest year in the 17-plus-year history of Utility Supply Group (USG), a provider of utility pedestals and specialty electrical products for campgrounds, RV parks and resorts, according to a press release.
“We had a record March, the biggest month in corporate history, followed by our second biggest month in April,” said Wade Elliott, president and founder of the Kingston, Wash.-based company.
But even though Elliott and his associates, Paul Croteau, Heidi Doyle, Kate Woodson and Julianne Long, have been as busy as ever, they still make themselves available to provide educational seminars and to participate in about 20 RV and mobile home park industry shows each year, notes the release.
For these and other efforts, USG earned the 2019 Supplier of the Year Award from the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (Arizona ARVC).
The award was presented April 17 during Arizona ARVC’s Spring Convention at Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino in Laveen, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb.
In addition to providing educational seminars, Elliott volunteers his time and expertise as the National Association of RV Parks and Campground’s (ARVC) representative on the National Electric Code Panel (NEC), which sets electrical code requirements for campgrounds and RV parks, as well as homes and businesses across the country.
Elliott also sits on the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 1192/1194 panel that generates the standards for RVs and RV parks.
In addition, Elliott serves on the advisory board of the Factory Assembled Structures Advisory Board of the state of Washington and is chairman of Kampgrounds of America Inc.’s (KOA) Care Camps, the non-profit foundation that sends children with cancer and their families to camps that specialize in oncology treatment.
Elliott was initially trained as an electrician while serving in the Navy and supervised the operation of a nuclear power plant on a submarine equipped with Trident nuclear missiles. He established USG in 2002 after leaving the military and has progressively grown his company over the past 16 years.
Elliott said many campgrounds remain “woefully underpowered” and need to update their electrical equipment, particularly those that are not members of state or national campground industry associations or major franchise chains. Most of those parks that are underpowered haven’t kept up with the growing ‘electrification’ of modern RVs, he said.
USG, for its part, is keeping busy not only supplying private and public parks with the electrical equipment they need as they upgrade their infrastructure, but providing parks with equipment they need as they add new campsites in response to the record numbers of RV sales that have taken place in recent years.
“I’m of the opinion, especially from the overnight standpoint, that we have too few places for RVs to pull in to use,” Elliott said, adding that this is an issue the private park business needs to address.
“Simply adding a dozen sites to an existing campground is a start but not going to go far when you’re adding half a million new RVs (to the existing number of RVs on the road) each year,” he said.