The idea came to Kevin Telfor a few years ago in the middle of a campground as he watched a fellow camper struggle to back an RV into its parking space. Later, he struck up a conversation with the driver.
"I said to him, 'I've never worked on RVs, but if you ever need something, I'll give you my card,' " said Telfor, the body shop manager at Krapohl Ford & Lincoln in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
A few months later, the camper called. Ever since, Telfor and the body shop have developed a knack for fixing RVs, fifth-wheel trailers, motor homes and any other kind of vehicle they could fit into their bays. Pursuit of repair jobs beyond traditional passenger vehicles has become a hallmark of the dealership.
"We've had a couple years doing it before the virus hit," Telfor told Automotive News. "And, yes, because of COVID, people are getting out more. When [accidents] happen, and they do, they're here. For us, it's falling into place. I see the sky is the limit here, and we're going to keep reaching higher."
Demand for RVs has sharply increased in recent months — jumping 35 percent year over year in September, continuing a summer climb that experts say is ongoing. Despite a two-month industrywide shutdown this spring to limit spread of the coronavirus, 2020 shipments through September are down only 3.2 percent, according to the RV Industry Association.
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