About Gansen RV
About Gansen Auto & RV SalesHello Friends!
My name is Dean Gansen and together my wife, Kari and I own and operate Gansen Auto & RV. I've been a businessman in the Riceville community for over thirty years and here's a brief overview of how my business began and evolved.
I started out in a shop adjacent to my home just south of town. Gansen Welding and Machine gave me the opportunity to acquaint myself with area farmers by fixing tractors and farm equipment. A few years later people referred to me as their friendly Snapper lawn mower and Polaris snowmobile dealer.
My vision was to operate in the downtown Riceville community and I jumped when the opportunity and perfect location presented itself. The old Ford store had been standing empty for several years and the previous owner was willing to rent with an option to buy and that's how the Gansen Auto and RV legacy began.
The old business could have easily been described as a bit of an eyesore. It was built in the 30's and was in serious need of an extensive face lift. None of that mattered as I couldn't help but feel proud to begin my new venture with my remaining Snapper inventory and only 3 vehicles.
I started conservatively and in a few short years I began the process of forming lasting relationships with several companies that lease vehicles to corporations. Customers grew to appreciate the quality of corporate leased vehicles and began asking for them by name. As my specialty grew, I began traveling more often and further distances to gain access to these vehicles. Through all my resources, I still have access to thousands of vehicles weekly.
My most productive year was in 1993 when I sold a record of 462 vehicles. I wasn't considering any changes to my business plan until I purchased my first RV from my parents who made the difficult decision to retire from the RV lifestyle they'd enjoyed for many years. It was thrilling to connect with family and carry on some of the same traditions that my parents started. As I found myself traveling further distances to access the right vehicles, I discovered that it was far more pleasurable to travel with my fifth wheel in tow. It was during one of those trips away that I decided to add recreational vehicles my inventory. I sold only used RVs for the first few years. This process was a rewarding challenge. I enjoyed the hands on knowledge I gained, but always found it challenging to find the necessary parts to make repairs
This struggle, brought me to the decision to bring in new RVs to our growing inventory. My wife and I spent several days (on our honeymoon, no less) touring different manufacturers and taking advantage of plant tours before she and I made the the important decision of whom to partner with. I'm also proud of the relationships that I've shared with both Forest River, Keystone and CrossRoads RV. It's been a rewarding experience working with companies that share the same ideals and business pride.
To be a successful businessman in the same Riceville community that I was born and raised in started well over 3 decades ago and could have never been a success without the aid of my loyal employees, the support of my family, the working relationship my wife and I share and most importantly my loyal customers. It's a thrill to hear from those who still use the same lawn mower I sold them way back when. It's a reminder of the how much has changed and how much I've learned as I followed my business dream.