My friend Greg Gerber shut down his website RV Daily Report last Sunday. With it went the last honest media voice in the RV industry press. Greg was essentially blackballed by industry advertisers because he dared to speak the truth, and not just write puff pieces to earn his keep. Read my essay from a month ago for more about this.
Although the RVtravel.com website is aimed at consumers, not the industry, as consumer advocates (by default) we are not cheerleaders for the industry. We are already a victim of industry blackballing and it will only get worse. Thankfully, we have the financial support of our members, and there are plenty of independent RV businesses that believe we are worth supporting with their advertising to keep our voice strong, clear — and ever larger.
But please don’t think the sole purpose of this website is to criticize the RV industry. That’s not true: We simply want to use our voice to spread the word of too-frequent industry incompetence and greed that we believe goes against the interests of RVers. And we will work tirelessly to help beginning RVers buy intelligently and not, for example, get suckered into 20-year loans that much too often will lead them to hardship and heartbreak.
I have stayed clear of accepting advertising from RV dealers because it’s hard to know how ethical they are. I have made an exception with Cheyenne Camping Center of Walcott, Iowa, whose owner, Kevin Frazer, is an ethical businessman who is not afraid to challenge the status quo of the RV industry, which is obsessed with profits at the expense of product quality and customer service.
We have also welcomed the support of RV industry veteran Gigi Stetler, whose consumer program, The RV Advisor, provides RVers with valuable advice about how to make intelligent buying decisions, not only on an RV but on extended warranties, insurance and emergency road service. This woman will fight for you, I strongly believe.
If any of our readers have problems with either of these companies, I will personally intervene by picking up the phone and do my best to set things straight. We welcome the support of other highly ethical RV businesses who treat their customers well, not simply as pawns to enrich themselves.