LANCASTER, Pa. – Outside the Lancaster Convention Center, the sky was gray and gloomy on Wednesday, but inside the event center vendors exhibiting at the Keller Marine and RV Show were upbeat, as were show officials.
“We’ve always done well at the Keller show,” said Kevin Jastrem, aftermarket sales manager at Carefree of Colorado, who predicted the supplier’s sales at the two-day show would be on par with the previous year.
“We had … great interest in our PermaPro cover, which now comes with a lifetime warranty,” said Harry Allen, RV category manager for Classic Accessories. Dealers snapped up all of the supplier’s point-of-purchase materials and numerous dealers requested product literature for the company’s various RV covers, he added.
A number of exhibitors debuted new products at the Keller show, including Dometic, which introduced the RVAC Plus, an RV vacuum system with a telescoping handle and a 40-foot hose. Dometic normally sells dealer direct, but Dometic rep Mark Hathaway said regional distributors like Keller are invaluable to the company in serving markets where it doesn’t have a strong in-the-field presence.
Comfort Ride Hitch, an American-made heavy-duty fifth wheel hitch, also debuted at the Keller show. Industry veteran Bob Mater, representing Comfort Ride, said dealers responded favorably to the hitch.
Keller Marine & RV President Mike Keller said upwards of 300 dealership personnel attended the show and that, as of Wednesday morning, show sales were on track for a healthy double-digit increase over the 2014 distributor show. “It’s going very well,” he said.
Vendors including Tim Kowalski, president of Bio-Kleen, said the Keller show combines the best of big distributor events and smaller events that closely cater to the needs of their vendors and dealers.
“We always enjoy coming to the Keller show because they’re a good, family-owned business and because of the way they treat their dealer customers,” he said.