About Norm's RV
- 1993Norm and Kim started planning
- 1994Began renting their RV
- 1995Moved from home to storage
- 1996Moved to Poway Road
- 1997Began offering pre-owned RVs
- 2002Became Southern California's exclusive Titanium dealer
- 2004Opened separate service center in South Poway Industrial Park
- 2005Joined Route 66 RV Network dealer
- 2008Fleetwood and Glendale RV filed bankruptcy
- 2009Began carrying the Aljo travel trailer and fifth wheel trailers
- 2010Norm elected to BOD for CalRVDA
- 2011Aljo pulls out of California, Became Forest River Evo Dealer
- 2013Became Northwood Full-Line Dealer
- And the story continues...
In 1993 Norm and Kim Snider wanted a different RV. They owned a 1991 Jamboree 26' Class C but wanted a Class A. Unfortunately, they were "upside down." So, they decided to place their RV in a consignment rental program to generate extra revenue to right the situation. After evaluating the available companies to help them, they concluded they would be better off starting their own rental company.
After months of preparation, the first ad was placed in the San Diego Union, offering their Jamboree for rent. Kim regularly recounts Norm's concerns of whether or not people would actually rent an RV. Needless to say, people do.
With one RV parked in the driveway it became Norm and Kim's goal to offer the cleanest, best maintained RVs available on the rental market. To this day Norm's RV continues to keep this goal clearly in sight.
Once the fleet grew to five RVs the operation was moved from Norm and Kim's driveway to a local RV storage facility. The neighbors were no doubt happy to see that change. By 1996 the fleet had grown to twelve units and Norm's RV moved to its current location on Poway Road. By that time, perhaps as a result of the new standards set by the Norm's RV rental fleet, several of the other consignment rental operations in the San Diego area had closed up shop.
With the sudden increase in drive-by traffic afforded by the move to Poway Road, Norm's RV's rental fleet grew to fifty consignment rental units. This number was bolstered by a glowing article in Motorhome Magazine that sang the praises of both our rental customers and our consignment owners. We had proven that a rental RV didn't have to be a dirty, abused, worn-out vehicle that had to be sanitized by the customer before they could use it.
While the rental operation blossomed, Norm and Kim decided in 1997 to begin offering pre-owned RVs. With a talented crew of technicians and detailing personnel, Norm's RV quickly became known for the condition and quality of the select pre-owned RVs they offered. Offering pre-owned RVs with a guarantee was something that wasn't available in the market, but was standard with every RV sold by Norm's RV.
In 2002, after a year of serious deliberation, Norm's RV became Southern California's exclusive Titanium dealer. This was a decision that wasn't taken lightly, but proved to be a great addition to the quality offerings already available at Norm's RV.
With the addition of the Titanium product line and increased service department demands, the seams were bursting at the Poway Road location. So, in the spring of 2004 Norm's RV expanded to a second location in the South Poway Industrial Park . The Rental, Parts, and Service departments were moved to the new store. The expansion left increased space at the Poway Road location to expand the Sales department inventory.
In 2005 Norm's RV was invited to be San Diego's exclusive Route 66 RV Network dealer. As an invitation only network of best in class RV dealers covering forty-five states with over twelve hundred service bays nationwide, joining the Network made Norm's RV part of the largest network of independent dealers in the nation. To our customers, joining the network means tremendous support as they travel about the country.
The landscape of the RV industry began a drastic change in 2008 as the nation faced the most devastating economic times since the "Great Depression." The meltdown cost the RV industry almost two dozen manufacturers and scores of RV dealers. Fortunately, conservative business practices and an extensive customer base allowed Norm's RV to weather the challenging economic cycle.
Like just about any person or business that wasn't under a rock from 2008 to 2010, Norm's RV took a few body blows. Our entire rental fleet was manufactured by Fleetwood and our new product line was manufactured by Glendale RV. Both companies filed bankruptcy. Glendale RV was disassembled and sold for parts. A skeleton of Fleetwood was purchased and took on a greatly reduced role in the industry.
With our two main providers virtually demolished, we went about rebuilding. Rigorous research lead us to Skyline RV - manufacturer with a track record dating back to 1951. Skyline's products, philosophy, and local manufacturing capabilities all made sense for Norm's RV. So, at the end of 2009, Norm's RV began carrying the Aljo travel trailer and fifth wheel trailers.
Because Skyline RV only builds towable RVs, we had to locate a new source for our motorized rental fleet. After consulting with a number of trusted rental companies that have used Forest River RVs for years, we began to focus on their motorhomes as a possible answer. After reviewing their products and company, we found them to be an excellent answer. And, the fact they are a Berkshire Hathaway owned company virtually eliminated any concern about their financial standing.
As we peeled back the layers at Forest River, we found additional opportunities. The Forester line of Class C motorhomes offered the level of amenities and class that our rental customers had come to expect. And, the retail license for the line was available in the San Diego market. So, not only did we begin renting the Foresters, we became San Diego's exclusive dealer as well. Along with the Forester Class C motorhomes, we chose to rent the Georgetown line of Class A motorhomes.
Our affiliation with Forest River didn't stop there. To offer a more diverse product selection in the towable RV arena, we began carrying the R-Pod line of compact light-weight travel trailers and the Surveyor line of laminated wall trailers. The Surveyors offered a nice selection of "expandable" hard-sided trailers. Both the R-Pod and Surveyor product lines provide features and benefits that many customers have requested in the past.
In response to the changes forced upon us by the market, strategic changes were made that allowed Norm's RV to return to profitability in 2010. Also, in 2010, Norm was elected by his peers to the Board of Directors for the California Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association. This allows him to provide input for the trade association that works every day to shape the face of RVing in the state of California. It also affords Norm's RV valuable insight as to where the industry is heading, before most dealerships have any idea what is coming.
As the industry reshaped following the "Great Recession" a number of changes came about that had a direct impact on Norm's RV. First, Skyline closed their Hemet, California factory we could no longer purchase the Aljo products locally. Reconizing that buying trailers built in Indiana puts all west coast dealers at a disadvantage, Norm sought other options rather than buying Aljo trailers built in Indiana at a significantly higher price. Fortunately, Forest River was just starting up a new line - Evo, built in their Riverside, California plant. Since we were already aligned with Forest River, this was an easy transition. Plus, the Evo line offered products similar to those from Skyline. This made for a smooth transition.
As the industry and the economy began to pick up, Norm seized upon the opportunity to become a full-line dealer for Northwood Manufacturing. This change added three levels of travel trailers - all at a price point above the Evo line. It also offered two lines of fifth wheels and two lines of truck campers. The Northwood product line is one of the most respected in the industry and enjoys an extremely high level of customer loyalty. Many Northwood owners are on their second or third Northwood product.
Moving forward, Norm and Kim continue to focus on presenting the finest RV Sales, Parts, and Service available in the San Diego RV market