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Exclusive: Maine RV Dealer Provides a Respite for Boston Caregivers

When the COVID-19 pandemic really kicked into high gear in March, a nonprofit called Boston Health Care for the Homeless set up a small tent city in a parking lot outside Boston Medical Center to offer care to the homeless and separate those who exhibited coronavirus symptoms.

It was around that time that Mary Takach, who works for Boston Health Care for the Homeless, made a call to Lee’s Family Trailer Sales & Service in Windham, Maine, asking if they had an RV available that they could use. She ended up calling Lee’s, more than 100 miles away from the Boston Med Center, because at every RV place closer to that she had come up empty.

“The rental department took the call,” said Dan Craffey, owner of the family-owned dealership. “It came to me and I felt pretty compelled to donate the unit.”

At the time, in mid-March, it was still cold in that part of the country.

“The doctors and nurses (working the tent city) needed a place to get warm, have a cup of coffee, rest up, things like that. It’s worked out very well,” Craffey said. “The doctors and nurses have been very grateful about it.”

Craffey set aside a newer-model, 25-foot Winnebago Minnie Winnie RV and the hospital came and picked it up. The original agreement was for the unit to be used for about four weeks, but going on double that it’s still there, Craffey said.

And he’s thrilled his dealership was able to help out, he says. Like everyone else, he’s been surprised by the ferocity of this virus and is extremely grateful to the doctors and nurses for the work they’re doing.

Asked how Lee’s Family Trailer, which has been around for more than three decades, has been faring during this difficult time, he said that – all things considered ­– business has been good. Or at least, not as bad as it could have been.

In January through March, his sales were up 20 percent compared to the same period last year.
April, which was lock-down month for much of the country, was down – he sold 50 units instead of the 90 his shop sold last April – but when he spoke with RV PRO in early May he already had 16 on the books as sold.

“So, I think we’re going to have a good second quarter,” Craffey said.

Tony Kindelspire

Tony Kindelspire is the digital content editor of RV PRO magazine.

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