A Q&A with Barb Niemeyer
Anyone who has been to Elko New Market has likely seen Niemeyer Trailer Sales and its large inventory of campers and recreational vehicles for sale on the south side of County Road 2. For this month’s Q&A, we learn a little more about one of the more visible businesses in the community.
How did Niemeyer’s get its start back in 1965?
Jim Niemeyer started the business selling canoe truck toppers and pick-up trucks in Maple Grove on the weekends. During the week, he sold televisions. The Maple Grove location was ideal because it was the main road into and out of the Twin Cities.
What unique challenges and opportunities have you experienced as a family business that non-family-owned businesses may not experience?
The challenge with a family-owned business is you have others to consider when making decisions because we all have a vested interested in the direction of the company. We have to rely on every one in the family to contribute to the business’s success.
Why did you choose to locate in Elko and Albertville? How do the two locations differ?
With the two locations at opposite sides of the Twin Cities, we can service trailers and RVs in a wide geographic range. The Albertville location opened across from the outlet mall about three years ago. The visibility of that location is priceless. We opened in Elko in 1979, anticipating the future growth of the area.
What sets you apart from competitors?
We’re different in that all of our family members involved in the business have years of experience. As a customer, you get serviced by many knowledgeable people at both of locations. You don’t generally get our level of experience in a camper/RV retail setting.
What are some of the trends in campers/RVs today?
A trend in campers is convenience and smaller campers that smaller vehicles can tow. Not everyone has a truck these days. That shouldn’t prevent them from getting into camping though. Manufacturers have introduced smaller and lighter weight campers that can be pulled by smaller vehicles, giving more people access to one of America’s great pastimes.
What advice do you have for consumers who may be thinking of buying their first camper/RV?
Perhaps the most important factor is to know how much weight your vehicle can tow before you start looking at campers. That way you don’t get your heart set set on a floor model your vehicle cannot tow.
Do you provide services for people who may not have a camper/RV?
We also provide is mini storage with unit sizes starting at 5’x10′ and going up to 12’x25′. We also have propane fill, whether for a camper propane tank or a BBQ grill tank. Our retail stores also carry a wide selection of parts that can be used on most RVs.