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Sponsor Spotlight: Our Conversation with Dave Durnell of RV Wholesalers 

The Ohio State Parks Foundation is thrilled to welcome RV Wholesalers among the first corporate sponsors committed to supporting the mission of the Foundation as it works to care for and enrich Ohio’s state parks. Co-Owner Dave Durnell says, “this was a no-brainer for us.” He goes on, “This is a great way to support something that has been so important to our family and to help ensure the parks will continue to be there – and in great shape – for others.” 

RV Wholesalers began nearly 25 years ago when brothers Mike and Dave Durnell, who were both teachers at the time, decided to not only sell RVs but change the way the RV industry did business. They got started in the industry when their parents bought a campground and they began to fix RVs while still in school as a way to make extra money. 

After a while, their customers began to approach them about purchasing RVs from them. According to Dave, when questioned, “Why do you want a college kid to sell you an RV?” Their customers replied, “You guys do a great job, charge almost too low of a price, service is affordable and you don’t stop until the job is done right.”

The rest, as they say, is history. RV Wholesalers is now made up of both the RV Wholesalers Nationwide Service Network as well as the RV Wholesalers Canadian Service Network, which when combined have over 2,500 service centers. RV Wholesalers also began offering the Buckeye Service Guarantee four years ago for its Ohio customers, which promises its customers the absolute best service available – including a replacement RV should yours be in the shop – at no additional cost. 

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Mike Durnell about RV Wholesalers and why the company thinks it is important to support the Ohio State Parks Foundation. 

Why are Ohio State Parks important to RV Wholesalers? 

We grew up in the state parks – Rocky Fork and Salt Fork, among others – in tents and popups and spent our days hiking, fishing, mushroom hunting, and more. We think it is in all of our best interests to keep the parks funded so they can be properly maintained and enhanced. 

And not only do the people who buy from us go to the state parks, we still go to the state parks. There is so much good that comes out of camping – it is so healthy for a family, bringing everyone together and helping to strengthen those bonds. The Ohio State Parks make camping and all of the activities associated with camping that much more enjoyable for families and kids because they are not only beautiful but safe and clean. 

We have traveled all over the country and I can tell you that Ohio has some of the most beautiful and best-kept parks in the country! And I might be biased because we are located a mile from Indian Lake State Park, but I think it is the best state park in the country. We are also excited to be opening a new location right across from Delaware State Park. We are very proud to be from Ohio – if it wasn’t for winter, this would be the Garden of Eden for me. It’s so beautiful and the people are so friendly.

Indian Lake.
Indian Lake

How did you first hear about the Ohio State Parks Foundation? 

We have a partnership with The Ohio State University Athletics Department and someone mentioned the new State Parks Foundation and the work you are doing. We immediately started investigating and knew it was something we had to be a part of. Our partnerships with OSPF and OSU are the two partnerships that we are most proud of and have done so much for our community. It’s incredible what OSPF is doing.

What do you hope to accomplish through your philanthropy with the Ohio State Parks Foundation? 

Mainly making sure that the longevity is there with the parks. We also want to raise awareness of the OSPF and bring the work you are doing to the front as quickly as possible. We will be handing out shirts for OSPF at OSU games, promoting it on our website, and through our email newsletter. We want to get more people involved and donate – it’s a great opportunity for people to jump in and support the parks – and not just protect them but to make them even better. I would tell people to remember what the parks do for you and your family – and now it is time to give back. 

If you were talking to someone else about giving to OSPF, what would you tell them? 

We’ve already encouraged other businesses to join us in our support of OSPF. The best thing you can do is take your family camping. There are no cell phones and there is no better way to really get to know someone than by sitting around the campfire with them. The parks bring that to us right in our backyard. And they are beautiful! We owe it to future generations. The parks need to be there and those areas need to be preserved. 

What is the most underrated State Park that people might not know about?

No doubt, Indian Lake. Indian Lake has given so much to this community but it is still so unknown. You have to check out the Indian Lake Fireworks on the Fourth of July and the Ring of Fire on September 4th, 2022. They are incredible events and all possible because of the state park’s property. If the state park wasn’t here, we wouldn’t have anything. That is who we are.

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