Camping World cuts off the competition — again

Camping World cuts off the competition — again

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

In a move that might be viewed as a “don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” National RV Supply Company, a major wholesale RV parts and supply distributor, has shut down sales to the public. Evidently “the public” includes RV dealers who’ve come to depend on the outfit for getting parts for their customers.

Looking a little deeper at the situation makes for some disturbing possibilities. First, National RV Supply is a “sister company” of Camping World, the Marcus Lemonis-directed behemoth that’s been gobbling up RV dealers across the country. Back in 2016 Camping World made big fanfare of its magnanimous offer to sell wholesale to independent RV dealers and parts retailers.

Here’s a quote from Camping World’s own news release on the topic. Using the words of Johnny Sirpilla, Chief Business Development Officer, the company touted, “‘2015 saw a significant shake up in the aftermarket space and obvious pricing changes to the dealer network,’ … ‘We are RV people and proud to accept the responsibility to serve our own to ensure dealers can quickly and price competitively serve the RV consumer to ensure they stay in the RV lifestyle.’”

The reference to 2015 was when the industry was rocked by yet another takeover. At that time, three major RV parts distributors – NTP Distribution Inc., Stag-Parkway Inc., and The Coast Distribution System, Inc. were snapped up by LKQ Corporation, a Fortune 500 company that apparently decided that selling auto parts wasn’t enough – that RV parts could be a lucrative part of their portfolio.

Now that Camping World/National RV Supply has decided to chop off sales to independent RV parts users and sellers, competition that would ordinarily tend to keep prices in check is throttled back that much more. Not only can one foresee a possible effect on the wallet, who knows what it may also do to wait times for parts for repair jobs. But no doubt, Camping World’s Lemonis sees a silver lining in what for others will be a dark cloud – a silver lining in his own pocket.

##RVT818

 

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9 thoughts on “Camping World cuts off the competition — again

  1. Wayne Justice

    Sad but true CW has gone down hill fast. Service is generally very poor and price outrageous. Here is one problem they have, qualified
    service techs. Good techs are very hard to come by and so they often hire young folks just starting out in the business, give them little to no training and put them to work on your expensive motor home paying them 12 to 15 dollars per hour and charging you $100 per hour or more while they are learning. And with them buying up all the competition this will only get worse. I don’t have the answer for a fix here but if enough people get together we can make a difference

  2. Jim Bennett

    Wise folks would avoid CW like the plague, especially any service work.

  3. Doug Renken

    As a mobile RV Service, we use CW/NATIONAL RV SUPPLY to help us with providing parts in a very timely manner. We could go to the local CW and get the parts at NATIONAL prices. By doing this, many times we were able to get the customer going with new parts in hours, not days. We are able to still get them (for now) at wholesale at CW. But CW/NATIONAL cut off the online access and we now get stuck trying to call our local CW to see if they have the parts and get the price.

    When I emailed CW regarding the message on the NATIONAL RV SUPPLY site, I was told they are working on it and we should get access back when the website is redone (I hope).

    When you are traveling, you don’t have days to wait for parts to be overnighted.

    1. Russ De Maris

      Thanks, Doug, for the clarification. Please keep us updated so we can share what’s happening with the rest of the readers.

      Russ DeMaris
      Senior Editor, rvtravel.com

  4. James Fulton

    Unfortunately the RVers are victims of this type of corporate takeover. We have noticed Camping World have increased prices in products and services, while decreasing quality of service provided. In the past we utilized Camping World for servicing our RV’s; however, in the past few years we have used other service centers and are more pleased with service and pricing.

  5. CMC

    I would not buy or service an rv at C World, very bad experiences with them. From what I hear we are far from alone. where will we go when they own everything?

  6. CYoung

    This definitely sounds like a monopoly. I would think the RV Travel staff may want to start a letter campaign to our congressmen the to look into anti-trust violations. I have seen other causes use this technique to get the attention of our government. Just an idea.

  7. John Snell

    Monopolies and oligopolies are a big problem in the US today. This includes Amazon. They choke off the freemarket.

  8. G13Man

    Amazon is moving into other businesses .
    We can support those who serve our needs there !
    So all Rv suppliers , start getting ur AMZN sites up to date , we might be giving ur biz a try very soon !

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