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Old 01-06-2015, 12:20 AM   #1
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Tom Raper RV Is Selling Out

Sad news.

Camping World is buying Tom Raper RV, reportedly the largest RV dealer in the Midwest. Not from Tom Raper. He apparently sold out 13 years ago and moved to Florida. The current owner, David Bane, is now selling and moving on. Tom Raper RV celebrated its 50th year in business in 2014. Always a shame to see an independent business bite the dust.

Here's a news story about it: Deal in works to sell Tom Raper RVs

Here's the Camping World press release:

Camping World, the nation's largest RV and outdoor retailer, and Good Sam, the world's largest RV owners organization, announce that an agreement has been signed to acquire the three existing dealership locations of Tom Raper RV, in Richmond, IN; and in Cincinnati/Fairfield and Columbus/London, Ohio.

Over the next several months, plans are for the locations to undergo renovation to feature additional service bays, a Camping World retail store and state of the art collision centers preparing the dealerships to join over 100 other Camping World SuperCenter locations across the U.S.

"Under David Bane's leadership, Tom Raper RV has established itself as one of the most successful and well-known RV dealerships in the nation," said Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam. "We are pleased to begin the acquisition of their three dealerships and continue our market share expansion throughout the greater Midwest area."

The acquisition of the Tom Raper RV dealerships are in line with Camping World's future growth plans and the company expects to soon announce several additional markets of expansion throughout the country in 2015.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:38 AM   #2
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I don't know the age of David Bane or anything about him. But if he can sell a successful dealership and come away with big money--more power to him.

RV dealership owners have placed a great deal of capital and years of their lives into their businesses. They are owed a salary for their efforts and a return on their investment. And every business has a specific life span.

Hopefully the new dealership will run a good operation and support all the customers that have come through there all the years.
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Old 01-06-2015, 02:09 PM   #3
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Lemonis is on a buying spree. This follows his recent purchase of or investment in Tom Johnson's in North Carolina.
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Old 01-06-2015, 02:20 PM   #4
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This is good for the more savvy buyers, because it opens the door for more small boutique dealerships. Camping world's reputation is poor, and sooner or later they will need to improve or it will fall down, and that may be part of the game plan for current management.
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:21 PM   #5
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Tom Raper's reputation here fell after he sold the business. During the Blane ownership many of his Richmond employees (sales and technicians) left, to work at Camping World of Indianapolis.
I suspect it will re-emerge as Tom Raper RV dba Camping World of Richmond; which is what happened to Stouts RV dba Camping World of Indianapolis.
Roger, CW is part of the Good Sam/Affinity conglomerate, which is the largest such corporation in the U.S.A.
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:02 PM   #6
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Shoot, I'll bet there goes the free hot dogs & pop they had at the Richmond, IN location. I could spend all day there looking at RV's so long as I had sustenance to keep me going in/out of all the units.

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Old 02-11-2015, 07:02 AM   #7
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I tried to buy from Tom Raper in January 2015, but they did not want my business. I made an offer on a left over 2014 Excursion 33D completely inline with prices at other dealers advertised prices and they would not accept. The salesman said he would call me later and never did. As a businessman, I don't understand spending a fortune on advertising and failing to even negotiate on a fair offer. Not to mention they new I was driving 3 hours for a test drive at their Ohio location and the batteries were dead on the coach when I arrived and it took over an hour to get it started. We drove around the block and realized there was almost no fuel so a tech hade to take it to the gas station for a few gallons. Advice to Camping World...clean house! I bought a 2015 on 1/31/15 for $4k more than I offered Tom Raper for a 2014.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:34 AM   #8
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CW just bought Dandy Rv out. All locations in Alabama.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:45 AM   #9
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I'm afraid the big guys will buy up all of the small competitive guys and set their own price. If you don't like it there will be no other place to go. Sorry to see the independents go.
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmills1975 View Post
I tried to buy from Tom Raper in January 2015, but they did not want my business. I made an offer on a left over 2014 Excursion 33D completely inline with prices at other dealers advertised prices and they would not accept. The salesman said he would call me later and never did. As a businessman, I don't understand spending a fortune on advertising and failing to even negotiate on a fair offer. Not to mention they new I was driving 3 hours for a test drive at their Ohio location and the batteries were dead on the coach when I arrived and it took over an hour to get it started. We drove around the block and realized there was almost no fuel so a tech hade to take it to the gas station for a few gallons. Advice to Camping World...clean house! I bought a 2015 on 1/31/15 for $4k more than I offered Tom Raper for a 2014.
A few years ago about 5 of Tom Rapers employees hired on with CW of Indy. Those I knew said they couldn't work at Rapers any more. We tried to deal with Rapers before buying from CW. We got the same treatment, and it takes us 2.5 hrs. to drive to Rapers in Richmond, IN. Batteries dead, coach out of gas, coach dirty inside, etc., and salesman with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude.
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