Retail and Travel & Tourism

Family RV dealership attracts national buyer

July 31, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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American RV
Tami (Neff) Melpolder and Chad Neff will remain with Camping World, following the sale of American RV, the company their parents started. Courtesy American RV

Grand Rapids-based American RV has sold to a national company.

Camping World Holdings Inc. has acquired American RV, 201 76th St. SW in Cutlerville. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

American RV was founded 29 years ago by Ron and Cheryl Neff.

The couple’s children, Chad Neff and Tami (Neff) Melpolder, will remain on staff at American RV.

“This is a great opportunity for my parents,” Chad Neff said. “They have worked hard for decades to build the company and they look forward to retirement. At the same time, I know they will miss the interaction with customers and vendors. My father has worked in RV sales for more than 55 years, so it’s in his blood, so to speak.”

American RV is the ninth-largest RV dealership in Michigan based on 2016 sales information from Statistical Surveys Inc. The company sells new and used recreational vehicles, trailers and more.

The dealership also has been named one of the top 50 dealerships in the U.S. and Canada for three straight years by RVBusiness, a trade publication.

American RV has worked with Camping World for 10 years, as the company has operated a leased RV accessories area in the Cutlerville building.

"We remain focused on growth and customer service, as we expand in the Michigan market with the successful establishment of American RV joining the Camping World family," Camping World Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis said.

Camping World also operates a dealership in Houghton Lake and an accessory store in Belleville. The company has 130 stores in 36 states.

Camping World of Grand Rapids will host its grand opening on Aug. 26. The building is in the midst of a 21,000-square-foot expansion.

Chad Neff, who will continue to manage the business and assume additional corporate roles, said the ownership change won’t affect the customer service.

“There may be a different sign on the building for customers and a different name on the checks for vendors, but it will be the same people providing the high quality service our customers have come to expect of us, with even more offerings,” Neff said.

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