Local Business News on the Southern Oregon Coast
Local Businesses on the Southern Oregon Coast Featured in the South Coast Shopper
BUSINESS OF THE WEEK:
Porters RV
By Annette Langenstein, Staff Writer 

The Porter Family: left to right, Eric, Darin, Nian and Stan have owned Porters RV since 1966.

I spoke with Darin Porter of Porters RV, who have been in business since 1966 when Stan and Nian Porter founded the dealership and own it to this day.  It’s a true family business where Darin runs the sales department and his brother Eric runs the parts and service department. “The key is not just family but a whole bunch of good employees, many of whom have been employed at Porters for a long time” said Darin. “Our 17 employees exhibit dedication, professionalism and they enjoy a great place to work.”

    Porters is open 8 am to 6 pm in summer, and 8 am to 5 pm in the winter, six days a week.  Saturdays they close at 5 pm.  Even in the winter they stay busy doing both sales (people want to escape the rain) and parts and service.

    Darin explained, “We’re really lucky here because we are in a smaller area and because of the longevity of the dealership, we’ve been able to hand-select the brands and models that we carry, so as a result we literally have the top-selling brands in the nation, along with several others to compliment them. The main thing for us is to find a product that gives good value to the consumer but also carries tremendous quality.”

    I asked Darin whether he thought the American consumer was changing the type of recreational vehicle they buy. He responded, “We still have a segment of society that buys the traditional RV, requiring a large pickup to tow it. But we’re definitely seeing the expansion of the crossover type RVs, pulled by smaller sport utility vehicles. As a result of the towing capacity of those vehicles, we’re seeing the industry have to adapt and make trailers lighter. ‘Light’ used to mean poor quality back in the 80’s, but now lightweight means superb quality, but engineered to weigh less. This has created a revolution in the RV industry because these materials are even stronger than before, while being towable by almost any vehicle. We have several crossover trailers like the R-Pod which weighs less than 3,000 pounds.”

    Porters RV has a full parts and service department where customers can buy literally any part or accessory for their RV. “Our service department is made up of employees with years and years of experience. We stock a tremendous amount of the most commonly-needed parts so that our customers can get back on the road quickly. All our technicians are either Certified or Master Certified, and our service manager has been here for 24 years. We make sure that people are happy when they buy their RV and remain happy after the sale,” says Darin.

    Most of their the RVs sold at Porters come from the Northwest. Jayco products are made in Idaho, Springdale and Cougar travel trailers come from Pendleton, Oregon and Surveyors come from Dallas, Oregon.

    Darin says the future of the RV business looks bright. “ Our business depends on several things, one of them being demographics. With Baby Boomers retiring, the RV market is getting larger and larger. We’re seeing more and more retirees enjoying the RV lifestyle.  People love it and there’s no better way to travel, in my opinion. Interest rates have remained low and the economy is improving. This business will always be cyclical, but overall there is an upward trend in RV sales.”

    I asked Darin how he liked using the South Coast Shopper to advertise his product.  He replied, “Advertising with the Shopper has been great—we’ve always had good service with them. Advertising is all about one thing: results. The biggest way that I know the Shopper works is because I routinely get people walking in here carrying our ad and they say ‘I want to see this unit.’”

    Darin concluded, “We can always talk about our successes, but really, it’s because of the customers that have supported us over the years. We’re very thankful for their business.”

    So if you’re looking for a quality recreational vehicle with reliable service after the sale, stop by Porters RV, located at 971 S. Broadway in Coos Bay. Or give them a call at 541-269-5121 and get started on your way to enjoying the fabulous RV lifestyle! www.portersrv.com

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