Monday, April 4, 2011

Angry, Impossibly Thrilled, and Just Plain Awesome RV Salespeople

Soon after reserving our new RV (but before taking it home), we settled in for an exciting night of OnDemand viewing (we really are retirees at heart, trapped in the bodies of twentysomethings). One of the movies we stumbled on was a documentary called Winnebago Man. Because we now wanted to devour pretty much anything RV-related, we hit "Preview." The documentary was apparently based on a series of outtakes from RV commercials back in the '80s, featuring a very crotchety RV salesman who clearly wasn't having the best of days. We hadn't ever heard of him, but apparently he's become some sort of cultural icon in the viral video world, and even earned the title of "Angriest Man in the World."

If you've never had the pleasure of watching one of these treasures, I highly recommend. I'm in a giving mood, so you don't even have to trudge over to YouTube to get the goods:

You wouldn't think they could base an 85-minute movie off a couple of viral videos, but the world is a fabulous place these days. The filmmaker, Ben Steinbauer, became borderline obsessed with tracking down this guy, Jack Rebney, and finding out why the hell he was so angry, and if he still was. Spoiler alert: He did find him, but there are quite a few twists and turns along the way. I'm not going to give anything else away, but damn if I didn't get choked up at the end. That's pretty impressive for a movie about a guy who became famous for spewing expletives.

The whole movie made me wonder if all RV salesmen are secretly pissed off at the world. All you've gotta do is look up a trailer model (ours is the JayFlight 22FB, for instance) on YouTube, and you'll find some sales guy walking you through the model and pretty much losing his mind over the virtues of all that storage space!!!! I mean, just so freaking enthusiastic it's a little painful. That can't be good for the psyche. At a certain point, all that excess enthusiasm is going to boil over and you'll morph into the next "Angriest Man in the World."

We got lucky in that the salesman who sold us our RV was neither angry nor excessively enthusiastic. At other dealerships and RV shows, the salespeople had been pretty hands-off. One even handed us the keys to a few different trailers and let us report back with the numbers of the ones we were interested in. I guess we needed a little more hand-holding, though, because we never came out of any of those places with the knowledge and assistance we should've gotten.

That's maybe why it made such a difference when, upon our trip to a dealership in Sellersville, our salesguy basically took us under his wing. I'm sure most people thought we were a couple of kids with no real interest in buying an RV, but if he thought so he didn't show it. He walked us through a number of different models and took note of what it seemed we liked and didn't. For instance, even though I didn't say so during our first couple of trailer tours, I wasn't blown away. Things were just too cramped and tight. The next model he showed us, he promised, "April's gonna love this one." He was right. That's the one we ended up buying.

Later, when we were talking the financial side of things, he made a comment that ended up really sealing the deal for us. He was giving us a ballpark figure of what we'd have to pay on a monthly basis toward a loan, and followed that up with a teasing look at me and, "Heck, you probably spend more money than that on clothes in a month." Touché, RV man. Touché. From then, I was pretty much sold. (And at a certain point, I'll stop buying clothes to make up for what we're spending on the RV. Promise.)

The point is, I liked the guy. He seemed to take a genuine interest in us, and hell, a few compliments thrown our (well, mainly my) way certainly didn't hurt. (Flattery will get you everywhere, in my case.) He definitely made it seem like owning an RV was a realistic possibility for us, and from there, we were able to turn it into a reality.


  1. The Angriest Man In the World is awesome. I need to find this movie now...

  2. you would love it! the man is my hero...