Pat Carroll Helps Kick Off 2024 Entegra Coach Homecoming – RVBusiness – Breaking RV Industry News

GOSHEN, Ind. –With the start Tuesday (May 14) of the Entegra Coach Homecoming, the 2024 season of RV rallies hosted at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds is underway.

Each summer, the fairgrounds is host to about a dozen different rallies – most of which are affiliated with specific manufacturers and supported by various suppliers and service providers – and typically feature educational seminars, repairs and upgrades and tours of the OEM production facilities and other area attractions.

The Entegra Coach Homecoming is no different, with hundreds of owners and their rigs gathered for the four-day event. What’s more, the Middlebury, Ind.-based motorized manufacturer, part of the Jayco Family of Companies, took the opportunity to introduce its 2025 model-year lineup.

Pat Carroll, left, holds court during the opening day festivities.

And, as he has for the last dozen or so years, Entegra Coach Senior Director for Product Development Pat Carroll was on hand to offer an overview of the highlights.

For him, though, the highlight is the opportunity to rekindle the friendships he’s made with many of the Entegra owners.

“The best part about this whole week is many of our Entegra owners come back to the birthplace of where their coaches are manufactured,” he told RVBusiness. “So, we do a plant tour, and then we also educate them on these very complex units. We have many suppliers out here, too, and we have many seminars on the operation of the systems themselves.

“It’s very informative,” he continued, “but you also want to make sure you know who the company is when you’re buying a product of this category and this price. So, the most important thing is for them to meet us and us to meet them. It’s really about so much more than just ‘business.’”

As Carroll was describing some of the new model year changes, time and time again he mentioned that the upgrade was driven by feedback from the Entegra owners themselves. That is something that separates Entegra from its competitors, he told the audience.

“Well, there’s no way we can use every model, every floorplan in every situation – whether it’s dry camping or at a resort or however you are using your vehicle,” he explained. “And they always tell us how their coach performed in different scenarios – and often it’s something that we had never even thought of.”

Entegra owners are a “wealth of information,” Carroll said, and their feedback drives innovation and changes that range from the complex to the very basic. One example was the simple action of moving a charging pad away from a window so the sunlight doesn’t overheat the phone being charged.

Another example he related was adding lighted steps in the entryway to certain models, which Carroll delivered with a healthy dose of humor.

“If you take lighting, for example, my standard fun line was, ‘Well, we build them during the day,’” Carroll quipped. “But for them, when they’re using them at night in the campground, are they able to read properly? And we also know in this Baby Boomer bracket, our eyeballs are all going. So, that’s why the lighted step.”

Entegra Coach General Manager Brendon Gendel

“But I always try to give them a little bit more than what they expected,” he added. “So, all of a sudden, they say, ‘Well, heck, here’s a cutout so I can connect my Starlink system right through the baggage door.’”

Entegra also used the first day of the Homecoming to introduce General Manager Brendon Gendel, who Carroll said would ultimately succeed him in being the face of Entegra, in a manner of speaking.

“We wanted somebody who doesn’t think they already know it all. You have to be able to listen and not get defensive about it. And we think we got a superstar in Brendon,” Carroll said.

“We have to plan for the future, and I’m not going to be here forever,” he continued. “It’s like with (NFL quarterback) Kirk Cousins. Why did the Atlanta Falcons pick (Michael) Penix in the draft? Well, because Kirk Cousin’s not going to be around forever. I’ve been in this business for 45 years. You can do the math. Sooner or later, I’ll be gone.”

Until that time, Carroll will continue to enjoy his work and, perhaps even more so, the friendships with his fellow Entegra Coach owners.

“They’ve become very, very good friends. I care about them – and they know that,” he said.