(Photos by Jill Bock, Staff)
Today's recreational vehicles are high-tech and efficient. And, according to Danny Holley, sales manager for RV America, more popular than ever.
Owner Donny Holley moved his business RV America to Sikeston in 2006, renovating the former OFMCO building, located at 600 State Highway H. The 6,400-square-foot building now houses some 50 recreational vehicles along with accessories as well as the sales offices, service department and a parts department.
Outside the building is a large lot facing Interstate 55 with some 200 additional vehicles. The selection includes Keystone products along with vehicles, trailers and fifth wheels by Pilgrim, Mobile Suite, Palamino, Cedar Creek and Cross Roads.
The travel trailers available range in size from 18-feet to more than 30-feet while the fifth-wheels come in sizes from 24-feet up to 38-feet.
People new to recreational vehicles first must learn the language. A motor home is one that will be driven to a destination under its own power. Travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers require a tow vehicle. Most travel trailers are pulled with common light-duty pickups while fifth-wheel trailers requires a special hitch in the bed and a vehicle with a greater towing ability like a 3/4 or one-ton pickup.
The sales staff then explains the varied uses for the vehicles. Holley said typically the full-time recreational vehicle user, who often travels to a winter destination, will choose a motor home while those interested in more space may choose the fifth-wheel trailer.
"There are really advantages and disadvantages to both," he added.
Inside today's travel trailers are all the latest accessories. Options include double-door refrigerators, flat-screen televisions, skylights, DVD players and surround-sound stereo systems.
"The list goes on and on," said Holley. "The amenities are unbelievable today."
And even with rising gas prices their customers are finding recreational vehicles a good choice. Holley explained some buyers are looking for something different, such as the opportunity to camp, and others are using the vehicles for short vacation trips.
While sales is a big part of RV America, the business also maintains a service department to provide maintenance for vehicles sold by the Sikeston-based business plus the employees work on other recreational vehicles. Holley pointed out the business has one of the largest parts and accessories departments in the area also.
Business is steadily growing at RV America, Holley said. He attributes the growth to several things including the friendly staff, large inventory and the company's dedication to service after a sale.
"We believe in taking care of our customers," he emphasized.
Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, RV America's selection of vehicles can also be viewed on the Internet at www.rvamericallc.com.
Pictured from left are: Bo Hoskins, Jerry Terrell, Jessica Harrington, Robby Lemonds, Ricky Rogers and Mike Stephens; back row: Grayson Glueck, Betty Wilson, Danny Holley, Mike Stephens, Donny Holley, Jeremy Henson and Mark Lewis.