Most likely you know what type of RV you’re in
the market for when you visit Franciscan RV, whether it be a Class ‘A’
motorcoach, a 5th-wheel, or even a tow-lite that sleeps two.
Then again, you may have yet to decide on what type of RV (other types at FRV
include class ‘B’, Class ‘C’, folding camper, park model, travel
trailer, truck camper and other vehicles) so you’re likely to spend from one
hour to several hours on the lot, jumping in and out of RV’s like a social
butterfly at a Good Sams jamboree.
It’s hard work, especially
if you’re one of those shoppers who like to take notes and maybe even take
snapshots of prospective units.
Don’t worry about a thing, though, because FRV’s Teako & Josie Nunn and
staff have got you covered with the basics, which start with free hot dogs, soft
drinks and coffee. Help yourself!
Plus there’s a comfortable
lounge chair and plenty of local, national and trade newspapers and magazines to
keep you occupied while the staff takes care of business on your behalf.
Teako, who grew up in the steakhouse business (his brother owns four restaurants
in El Paso and their father runs one in Albuquerque), tends to spoil guests and
staff alike with his hands-on work in the kitchen. Teako and Josie’s
11-year-old son, Dillon and their 17-year-old daughter, Michelle, also keep dad
looking over his shoulder in the star of the kitchen department.
Recently a lady on the lot jokingly suggested Teako should open a restaurant,
what with all the masses he feeds on a daily basis.
it’s the staff and hangers-on (like this appreciative writer) who are
beneficiaries of morning breakfasts ranging from eggs and sausage to gravy and
biscuits, and always fresh, homemade salsa, but whether you’re a customer or
the Fed Ex guy making a delivery, you won’t go away hungry, or thirsty, at FRV.
Teako and company make sure of it.
Teako’s favorite cooking
appliance is an outdoor rotisserie-style barbecue smoker on wheels that turned
one recent Saturday into a Mardi Gras with barbecued chicken. Visitors to a
recent RV show in Deming enjoyed pork barbecue (Teako coats it with mustard,
then barbecue seasoning, then he adds mesquite wood).
one customer was so impressed with the fare and the hospitality, she treated
everyone at the dealership to an Italian meal.
What does all
this culinary talk have to do with the business of selling pre-owned RV’s?
Everything, according to Teako.
“I just want everybody to have
fun,” he says. “It’s really important to me. I love to serve the food.”
Teako has a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA, but he doesn’t need a
chart to tell him this is good for business.
“We do it because
we love to do it,” Teako says of his culinary efforts. “It didn’t start
out as an expense or anything we looked at. Could we get our money back, or is
this a good idea, or can we afford it? We just did it because we liked it
personally, Josie and I.”
The mega-dealerships, according to
one RV trade magazine, are increasingly recognizing that there’s more to full
customer service than a snack machine and a coffee dispenser next to the water
Is this a trend?
“Other people are
doing it,” Teako replies. “I think it’s a good idea, it’s your customer.
I don’t see it very often but...”
Q: How did you come up with the name, “Franciscan” RV?
We bought the old adobe (Catholic) church (in Rodey, a "suburb" of
Hatch) and the patron saint is Franciscan de Salas, so we just called it
Franciscan Motors at that time. We just sold cars and trucks, and then we
switched to RV’s in 1995.
Q: What brought you to Hatch?
The church. We just wanted to move away from El Paso, the big city, and live in
a smaller town with a slower pace, and we were looking for a lot of square
footage because at that point we sold antiques. We needed a place to put them,
so it started out with an antique museum. We sold antiques out of the house, we
ran video games, pinball machines, string testers and love testers, scales,
lollipop scales... we just ran amusement machines and sold antiques on the side.
Q: Why make the selling of pre-owned RV’s your niche?
Everybody needs a car or truck to get to work. It’s something you need, so the
experience of buying comes out of necessity, so the customer is charged with
that tenseness, that anxiety of needing a vehicle. When you’re going to buy an
RV, you’ve already got an idea of what you want to do with your RV, and it’s
a fun thing.
Q: What’s the best thing about the RV'ing experience?
It doesn’t make any difference how much money you have or how neat your rig
is, or how un-neat it is, everyone’s bonded, we all have the same reason for
going to that park, going to Caballo (Lake State Park), we’re all kicking out
of our mainstream life and taking advantage of time with the family.
Q: Hatch is the “Chile Capital of the World,” but is it the ideal
spot for a pre-owned RV dealership?
A: The location, it’s funny, we
lucked into it. It’s in the ‘middle of nowhere’ but it’s the middle, so
TorC, Deming, Las Cruces... we’re not in a town that’s got a big population,
but we’re in the middle of all towns that have our customers, so it works. We
put it here because we live here. I don’t think we could have made a better
Q: What’s the difference between selling new units and pre-owned
A: “Everybody else (in southern New Mexico and Anthony, Texas)
is doing new, and they’re real good at it, so we’re looking for people who
want to save money, buy something where it’s already taken the huge
depreciation hit of a new one. That’s the customers we’re looking for.
It’s a different kind of customer. People that are here know that new takes a
massive hit, so they’re looking for pre-owned. It’s a different mindset.”