Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis: The “Profit” or the “Destroyer”?

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By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR
Alan Warren, the sometimes outspoken host of the syndicated radio program the RV Show USA, takes a moment away from his radio microphone to “rant” (his description) about Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis. In Warren’s opinion, Lemonis’ questionable business practices have caused grief and even harm to many RVers. In this sometimes rambling 18-minute monologue he explains why he believes that way.

RVtravel.com has said many of the same things about Lemonis, who envisions himself as a gifted businessman but who may be instead more like P.T. Barnum without the master showman’s talent.

Please leave a comment.

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Sandra Greene

Alan, you are and always be my hero!

Cere

Interesting … as a (small, family-owned) campground owner, I’m waiting for your rant against Passport America. It’s a pet peeve of mine – but I see they are one of your advertisers. These people drive very pricey rigs and come in with their half-price coupon, expecting free wifi, cable tv, and plenty electricity to run their THREE air conditioners, full-sized refrigerator, 4 televisions, microwave, etc. (And they call this ‘camping’.) Worse, if you don’t lay out the red carpet and give them the site they demand, they will give you a bad review. Don’t take PA you say? If you… Read more »

Bob Godfrey

So you are stating that the only people who come to your campground are those in “pricey rigs”? You don’t get any class B or C customers? Or tent campers? If you don’t like to give the PA discount then why are you in the program? As for me, I like to save my hard earned money so I will join any program that will enable me to get a discount particularly when we are only stopping for one night on a journey and don’t need swimming pools, swing sets, cable TV, live entertainment etc. But we are also “not… Read more »

Cere

Whoa. Guess I hit a nerve, Bob. The thing with the big rigs is that they use big electricity. They cost us more to host in our campground and they need and specially request our best sites (they won’t fit comfortably in other sites). We metered our sites for about a year (big hassle so we gave it up) and learned that the big rigs use an average of $5-8 of power every day, more in summer, with 3 ACs in most. That leaves us with about $14 to work with to pay our own staff, taxes, overhead, etc. We… Read more »

CAJUN

” The perfect storm is upon us!” It just ain’t RV’s.

Brian

Sad to hear what is going on. Sounds very close to the housing industry when folks could buy homes that they could not afford years later. Making more profit with poor business ethics can hurt some industries. Sad about the RV industry. Being a medical retired lawman, I was the guy in the tent next to folks with 500k plus Rv’s. I call them mobile hotels. I guess I missed out on some cool RV experience. I did have much fun camping in tents and spoke to many that lived in luxury next to my peasant tent. Lol with that… Read more »

Mike

This man has decided to blame human nature on Marcus Lemonis? The same principal has drawn people to cars, houses, swimming pools and even cell phones they can afford,because the financing options were so painless.

Marcus has allowed more people to own RV’s than probably any other single human being.

Ken

Marcus Lemonis rapes every business sticks his hands in. Take a quick profit by slashing service and quality, then liquidate and declare bankruptcy. He is a slash and burn capitalist. Camping World is the prime example. Just take a look at the reviews that business has racked up in the last few years.

Wayne D

I’ve made similar observations about the RV Industry and have to agree it is going to end sometime soon. Don’t know what can be done to save it, it will crash on its own wheels. Marcos made his plans but forgot what will happen when the market drops entirely. It’s bad enough now. It will take a lot of good luck to pull this up again .

Dick Reymore

The author is completely accurate and truth is not slander. I have bought and owned various rvs for the past 60 years and my troubles started when we wanted to downsize from our 2001 Safari Panther. I did not realize the amount of junk motorhomes being built until we traded our Panther on a 2016 Palazzo. 20 years sounded interesting because I would not need to get into our savings and I would be 102 at pay-off. In less than a year I realized I had to do my own repair work and when a California rainstorm soaked everything in… Read more »

Rafael Garcia

I’m not going to pretend to be an experienced RV’er. I’m not. But the Camping World Service Center and store is, fortunately, just a stines throw away frim where I park my coach in storage. This Camping World Service Center performs installation of major compnents at a fraction of what the dealers charge. And they do good work. I’m a retired automotive mechanic. I’ve worked in telecommunications and the aerospace industry as a structural mechanic. So I have a professional insight to lught and heavy line automotive suspensions, tires and wheels. The aircraft structural mechanic experience gives me an idea… Read more »

ken

You are basically 1 out of a hundred.

Tamara

So it’s all one man’s fault? The most stand out comment in the video was referring to the poor innocent consumer that doesn’t know any better. Consumers are adults, they need to keep up their RV’s or buy less expensive ones. There are BMW’s and Honda’s for a reason. BMW’s can cost over $150,000. They aren’t worth the same as the loan after a year or two either. The emotional buy is marketing, thats what companies bank on. This is the consumers fault. Don’t buy what you can’t afford. I owned 4 houses in the downturn. I didn’t lose them… Read more »

Dennis Gardiner

Marcus Lemonis is the head (CEO) of Camping World and its affiliates. If he decided to change how business is conducted, by dealers under his corporate umbrella, things would change. The bad managers running those locations would have a chance to correct practices, and hired and fire as needed.
Consumers also need to think before they purchase, and sadly many do not. They need to educate themselves, be prepared, and get a RV inspection, even on a new unit. Alan Warren is trying to teach people, and warning them on how to identify the pit falls.

Bill

Many Camping World RV sales locations are franchises, and Marcus exercises little or no control over them. The dealers that were bad dealers to begin with remain bad dealers, and the ones that were good to begin with remain good dealers. The company stores are another matter.

Barbara

Why is this Marcus’s fault?? . . This is the fault of the BUYER!! A little common sense here people. The reason prices have gone up on RV’s is, PEOPLE KEEP PAYING IT… STOP BUYING THEM AND PRICES WILL GO DOWN. The old saying goes, a cool and their money will soon part… Any businessman would do the same thing, IT’S CALLED “BUSINESS”. . If “YOU” make the purchase of something and it goes to help, it’s YOUR fault. . Remember, when you’re pointing the finger and blaming the seller for this disaster, THERE ARE 3 FINGERS POINTING BACK AT… Read more »

Barbara

** Correction ** A FOOL and their money will soon part…
I hate autocorrect ?

Phil
Lance Leroy

CEO’s are the Destroyers!
Even the employees of CW that I’ve talked to over the years didn’t like the direction in which the company was and still are headed in.
I use to work for a major air plane company with the same problem…greed! It’s how fast and how much money can the CEO’s make in sacrificing the needs of their employees and customers. Now the company is in the worst finance predicament in it’s history. They stopped listening to their employees and customers needs.

Ron J

Thank you Alan, your Spot On in your remarks. When Marcus got his tenacles into Camping World, and then buying up all these small RV Outlets, and even a Boating Supply Store, I knew it wouldn’t end well. I remember being at a CG, and a guy telling me he got twenty years…..just like a house – hell, I can take the interest off my taxes….I knew it was all downhill. I used to stop in the CW Stores, long before the Marcus days……now I avoid like the plaque. Please keep your comments coming, if you reach but a few,… Read more »

WEB

“…now I avoid like the plaque.”
Brushing regularly is a good way to minimize plaque, if only it could work on Marcus that easy. Now Marcus is similar to plaque of the arteries… VERY hard to remove. OH! You mean plague! Yeah, he infected CW.
Sorry, couldn’t help myself. :-/

Stay cool

Steve DSaint Martin

I hope Marcus turnes it around. I shop at camping world I’m not stupid enough to buy a RV from Camping world. I bought mine from a reputable Tiffin Dealer
And I love my Allegro Bus!!!!!

Tom Rastall

Alan is right. 15 to 20 year loans on something that depreciates as much as an rv is insane. I recall several years ago a large leasing company in Wisconsin started doing 5 to 7 year leases on used cars. They expanded all over the state . The business lasted about two years. When the vehicles depreciation exceeded the value and the customer started experiencing major repairs, they turned the vehicles back in to the leasing company. The poor customer was left with a huge deficiency and their credit was trashed. Now the leasing company had a vehicle worth half… Read more »

Captn John

Notice the sponsor of this rant. Guess he does not like competition.
CW in my area has the best prices and service for miles around. I don’t agree with anyone 100% of the time. I don’t paint every MCDonalds or Walmart with the same brush as most of them suck either.

Barbara

I agree with you.
This guy is bothered with Marcus’s success. People are financing trucks are cars for lots of years and they don’t go up in value, so why is he bagging on Marcus.
Marcus is a businessman and this is business. If people can’t afford it, DON’T BUY IT…

Rob

Right on the money!

Jerry Bomay

Dude, you are spot on and I admire your tenacity. Please, please keep up your constuctive critisim of the BAD MAN (Marcus Lemonis). I have known this for a few years and your message needs to reach all who are thinking of buying an RV and those interested in the RV life.

Jw

Could not possibly be more inaccurate or slanderous

Walker

..Speaking of accuracy; you surely meant to say ‘libelous’, since it is in written form.