Who's Who Among Vendors of Eco-Friendly Products
Woodall's Campground Management writer B.J. Smith compiled the following summaries of some of the eco-friendly vendors serving RV parks and campgrounds.
King Supply Co.
Location: Manchaug, Mass.
Background: King Supply Co. started in business in 1999 as an outgrowth of a family-run campground established in 1986. While King’s Campground on Lake Manchaug has been leased out to another operator since 2008, President Paul Boutiette says his company’s experience in managing a campground is invaluable in helping King Supply personnel fully understand the maintenance needs of campground, park and playground owners and managers. “We acutely knew what campgrounds needed for supplies,” Boutiette said about the decision to open a supply business. Boutiette and his wife, Pauline, also own a business making and selling egg cartons.
Market Focus: King Supply provides restroom, plumbing and building maintenance equipment to recreation centers, parks departments, camps and campgrounds throughout North America and overseas.
Best Selling Products: King Supply sells “an enormous supply” of plumbing, insect control and propane, Boutiette said. In greatest demand are products that help campground owners control water use, including coin-operated shower timers and toilet flush valves that prevent overuse of water by careless guests and children. Bedbug concerns at campgrounds that offer cabins have led to increasing sales of bedbug spray. Health regulations that require backflow preventers on faucets throughout most campgrounds have led to ongoing demand for those items, too. Boutiette said about 10% of preventers generally need to be replaced annually as delicate internal seals fail. A 100-site campground that does not have backflow preventers can expect to spend about $400 to purchase an initial supply. “We’ve had to air freight 200 backflow prevents to people just so they could open” for a new season after regulations kicked in, Boutiette noted.
Contact Info: Paul Boutiette, president; (888) 852-5340; fax (877) 455-4647; email@example.com; www.kingssupply.com
Location: Lakeland, Fla.
Background: MWSS Manufacturing is a family-owned, family-operated maker of sewer caps and related products for campgrounds and RV parks that’s been in business since 1995.
Market Focus: MWSS markets primarily to campground owners.
Best Selling Products: MWSS offers a lineup of sewer caps introduced in 2001 and a patented sewer hose restrictor invented in 2003. The company’s sewer cap and hose restrictor products were developed specifically for campground owners to meet their unique needs, says Jerry Hensley Sr., MWSS president. By limiting how far the hose can extend into a dump station opening, the restrictor helps prevent clogging or costly damage to sewer lines when a careless RV owner or camper inadvertently lets a hose get away and fall into the line. The MWSS Sewer Hose Restricter, made of PVC, fits all the company’s 4-inch-model sewer caps and is compatible with most other 4-inch sewer pipes and caps, according to company literature. The company’s self-closing CAMP CAP™ sewer cap shuts automatically with an odor-tight seal when the sewer hose is removed, further limiting the chances of unwanted debris clogging the system. The company also offers a foot-operated dump station cap.
Contact Info: Jerry Hensley Sr., president; (800) 648-6977; fax (863) 853-9348; www.mwssmfg.com
Enviro Design Products Inc.
Location: Dunnellon, Fla.
Background: Enviro Design Products Inc. (EDP), established in 1995 as a plastic and custom tool designer for the environmental monitoring well industry, manufactures aluminum, plastic and steel products such as wellhead, sewer cap and vapor plugs for drilling customers, the plumbing industry and others.
Market Focus: EDP markets its products worldwide. About 25% of the company’s sales are to campground owners and operators.
Best Selling Products: The products most commonly sold to the campground market include sewer caps for dump stations and overnight camping sites. President William Watts says EDP’s watertight sewer cap – “the only watertight cap in the world” – is particularly well suited to low-lying areas in danger of flooding during heavy rainfall. “It prevents flooding out of the sewer system,” he said, which would quickly shut down a campground. Watts added that the cap’s design also “keeps children and old men” from dropping something down the hole and causing expensive problems. The EDP sewer cap, a mainstay that has been on the market for more than 20 years, is most commonly sold in high-visibility “DOT orange,” but EDP is introducing the product in a variety of colors to integrate with campground color schemes, including KOA yellow. A new treadle-style, foot-operated cap will be introduced in mid-2011, Watts says.
Contact Info: William Watts, president; (352) 465-6048; fax 352-465-6049; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.envirodesignproducts.com
Location: Manitowoc, Wis.
Background: Tower Co., a company that dates back more than 50 years that is currently owned by Christine Kornely, specializes in dump station equipment for campgrounds and purchased its ROMORT-brand water tower kit from ROMORT Manufacturing.
Market Focus: Tower Company markets primarily to privately owned campgrounds, state parks and national parks, but also serves auto- and horse-racing tracks and other venues frequented by RV users. Most of the company’s sales are direct to campground owners, but Tower products also are available through plumbing supply companies.
Best Selling Products: The company’s biggest-selling products are foot-operated dump station hatch covers, campsite sewer caps, dump station signage and the distinctive spring-equipped water tower that keeps a station’s water hose from touching the ground. “That hatch cover is a very important part of the dump station,” says Kornely. “It’s foot-operated so you don’t have to touch the cover.” The ROMORT water tower kit is designed to quickly flush RV waste tanks with less than two gallons of pressurized water to help keep water bills under control. Once released, the hose stores itself safely off the ground. Kornely noted that Tower’s products are all U.S.-made and are all-metal to last long. “We don’t use plastic parts,” she said. The company recently introduced its new Dogi Pot line of plastic bag dispensers for use in campgrounds and other areas to encourage dog owners to pick up dog waste.
Contact Info: Christine Kornely, owner; (800) 945-1532; fax (920) 682-6094; email@example.com; www.towercompany.com
Walex Products Co. Inc.
Location: Wilmington, N.C.
Background: Walex is a leading specialty chemical products manufacturer with a special focus on odor elimination. In addition to products for septic systems, landfill operations and recreation vehicles, it offers a line of hand-sanitizers for a variety of institutions and customers as well as pre-measured laundry detergent packs.
Market Focus: Walex markets to the campground, RV/marine, portable sanitation, HVAC and municipal landfill industries and others. Its core products for portable toilets are sold in 50 countries.
Best Selling Products: Todd Vice, RV and Marine sales manager, says Walex Products’ top-selling product is its Porta-Pak holding tank deodorizer, which was adapted from the commercial toilet industry for RV applications. Vice says Porta-Pak simplifies holding tank maintenance by eliminating the need to carefully measure a liquid or granular deodorizer to correct proportions. Also popular is the Walex Bio-Pak, a “green” product introduced six years ago for cleaning holding tanks. Both the Porta-Pak and Bio-Pak products are for treating black water systems. The company’s newer Elemonate Grey Water Deodorizer Tablets are used to freshen sink and shower drain lines by dissolving grease and organic sludge and cleaning tank sensors. Vice said the grey water treatment has experienced “substantial growth in the past couple of years.” In addition to the pre-measured “drop in” products, Walex is introducing a liquid product called Bio-Active Holding Tank Treatment, which is dispensed from tip-and-pour containers to prevent overuse.
Contact Info: Todd Vice, RV and marine sales manager; (910) 371-2242; fax (910) 371-2094; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.walex.com
R.J. Thomas Mfg. Co.
Location: Cherokee, Iowa.
Background: R.J. Thomas Manufacturing was incorporated in 1959 by R.J. and Doris Thomas. After a start manufacturing farm equipment, the company began making grills, picnic tables, park benches and other campground products. It still occupies its original building site and completed a 30,000-square-foot building addition in 2010.
Market Focus: R.J. Thomas sells its products nationally and internationally. Most of its customers are privately owned commercial campgrounds and RV parks and municipal, state and federal parks and campgrounds.
Best Selling Products: Under the Pilot Rock Park Equipment brand name, R.J. Thomas makes a range of products for campgrounds, including picnic tables, pedestal grills, park and street site benches, campfire rings, bike racks, trash and recycling receptacles and lids, lantern poles and custom signs. Its basic wood-slat trash receptacle holds a 30-gallon trash can and can be topped with a variety of lids. It’s also available with recycled plastic slats, said Bob Simonsen, marketing manager. “One of our newest designs is the Tilting Trash Receptacle. This design lifts the collection basket up off the ground and suspends it on a twin-post yoke. When it’s time to empty the receptacle, the basket is tipped forward and the bag can be easily pulled out.” Simonsen said the tilt design means less lifting, and grounds maintenance is easier since the receptacle is kept up off the ground. Pilot Rock products also include animal-resistant and bear-proof trash receptacles.
Contact Info: Bob Simonsen, marketing manager; (712) 225-5115; fax (712) 225-5796; email@example.com; www.pilotrock.com
Location: Toledo, Ohio.
Background: Chempace Corp. is a specialty chemical manufacturer founded in 1968 that manufactures deodorants, cleaners, degreasers and other sanitation-related products.
Market Focus: Chempace markets its products internationally to the campground, RV, marine, water treatment industries and others.
Best Selling Products: Chempace products for campgrounds include the Uniquat 14 bathroom cleaner and disinfectant, a concentrated liquid cleaner that the company says is effective against staphylococcus aureus, salmonella choleraesuis, pathogenic fungi, trichophyton interdigitale, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus and rotavirus. The company’s bio-Force RV product is an all-natural blend of enzymes and bacteria for septic systems and leach fields. Its Big Shot Bionic Concentrate non-formaldehyde product neutralizes odors from portable toilets and pit toilets, and the Ultra PowrPak holding tank treatment comes in a drop-in packet to eliminate mixing, measuring and spills. Chempace recently introduced a new “enviro-friendly logo” to represent its biodegradable sanitation products.
Contact Info: Sarah Buck; (419) 535-0101, ext. 20; fax (419) 535-0531; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.chempace.com