The Great Recession wouldn’t seem like a promising time to open new stores, but in the past two years State Trailer, an RV supply superstore, has expanded from one location in Salt Lake City to a second in Utah and two more in Idaho.
And it’s all working out well, according to Mark Hult, the company’s general manager. RVers are not buying new rigs as often as they once were, he noted, so they have even more need to fix up and maintain their existing vehicles. That may be one reason, he said, that the new stores have managed to make their sales projections while the economy is still recovering from the worst slump since the 1930s depression.
RVers can find just about anything they need at State Trailer. The stores are in big warehouse–style buildings, from 16,000 to 30,000 square feet, with products lined up in aisles like in a Home Depot store. State Trailer carries a huge inventory—some 15,000 products—and has service centers staffed with RVIA-certified technicians.
The stores sell everything from tires, trailer hitches and tow bars to refrigerators, heaters, cookware and picnic supplies
The business dates to 1926, when Nick Julian, an Italian immigrant, opened an auto salvage yard in Salt Lake City. The salvage business evolved into things like rebuilt transmissions and then RV parts. In 1975, Mark Hult’s father, Ray, bought the business and expanded its offerings into a full line of RV products. Now you can find everything imaginable related to travel trailers, utility trailers and motorhomes, as well as marine products and camping supplies.
Ray Hult is still involved with the business, but it is now run day-to-day by his sons, Mark and Eric. The original store remains in Salt Lake City, and new locations, complete with service centers, have been added in Ogden, Utah, and Pocatello and Idaho Falls, Idaho. You can find store addresses and also order products online at statetrailer.com.