A Small Dealership That Makes a Big Impact
Maxwell and Veronica Nason were looking for someone who was willing to do more than invest in their business—they wanted someone who was invested in their ideas.
Maxwell had been working at Happy Camper RV in Vermontville, and he and Veronica were seriously considering buying the business. It was a big move and there was a lot for the couple to consider, but the decision became easier after Maxwell sold a camper to a couple who recommended he contact their son, Franklin County Economic Development Corp. CEO Jeremy Evans, for help with the purchase.
Jeremy connected the Nasons with FCEDC Director of Economic Development Russ Kinyon, who immediately gave them advice on where to start, who to talk to, and what information to get in order. It’s a process that’s as daunting as it is cumbersome, especially without assistance.
Working with Russ gave the Nasons the confidence boost—and the loan—that they needed to move forward with the purchase. Several conversations and a lot of paperwork later, and Happy Camper RV had two new owners who were ready to inject new ideas into the 10-year-old business.
“I chose to put a lot of faith in Russ and the Franklin County Economic Development Corp. because, in my personal experience, banks are really tough to work with,” Maxwell said. “It’s almost like they don’t want to help you.”
Before working at Happy Camper RV, Maxwell sold campers for Camping World in Nashville, Tennessee. Camping World is a much larger outfit than Happy Camper RV, and Maxwell learned a lot about selling RVs while there. Now he’s taking that knowledge and using it to form new ideas for his new business.
Russ wanted to know what the next step was for the Nason’s business, and Maxwell told him it was to improve the garage so he could work on RVs year-round. Russ helped make that happen, too.
“FCEDC has a vested interest in the growth and longevity of my company,” Maxwell said. “Not only did we get to purchase the business, we also got money for a new building.”
Happy Camper RV sells new and used RVs, propane, there’s an RV store on site, and they do onsite and mobile service, meaning they make house calls. That service is particularly useful to people visiting the region.
“There are something like 36 campgrounds within a 50-mile radius of here, and there is no one else who does mobile service,” Maxwell said. “If someone needs work done while they’re camping, we’ll show up and do it.”
As the business expands, the Nasons will be looking to hire more people to ensure their customers are getting the best possible service. It’s a dream-come-true for the couple, a chance for them to plant their roots deeply in a region they love while enhancing the visitor experience in the region.
And all it took was a little help, and for someone to believe in their vision.
“I think the combination of a young entrepreneur, good reputation, and a good existing business came together, and we were able to make this happen,” Maxwell said. “I still would have tried to find a way to make this work, but my failure rate would have been a lot higher without help from Russ and the FCEDC.”