Unchartered Waters

Leisure Trailer Sales Supplies Mobile Isolation Units

Story by Michael Seguin

Every community chooses a single quality to define themselves. Innovation. Excellence. Or, in Windsor’s case, generosity. And despite venturing into these tumultuous, uncharted waters, our community is more united than ever. More and more businesses and individuals are stepping forward each day to help their neighbors weather this storm.

One such business is Leisure Trailer Sales, a family-owned and operated RV dealership based in Lakeshore.

“We’re a full RV service center entering into our 62nd year of business,” co-owner Tom Raymond states. “We’re family-owned and family-driven. We love when our customers send us photos of them camping with their families. That’s what we’re all about.”

When COVID-19 reared its ugly head, Team Leisure brainstormed how they could help keep their community safe.

“When this all started, we gathered as a family and thought about what we could do to help the community,” Tom recalls. “So, we sent an email out to Windsor Regional Hospital. We offered them 10 or 15 units for their workers to rest and recuperate in.”

Windsor Regional Hospital thanked Team Leisure for their generous offer, but declined.

Unsure of what to do next, Tom’s daughters, twins Stephanie Holding and Nicole Ellwood, discovered a Facebook group: RVs for Canada’s Frontline—a volunteer service that connects frontline workers with vehicles that can be used as isolation units.

Inspired, Leisure Trailer Sales began offering their RVs to frontline workers—including nurses, doctors, paramedics, firefighters and police officers.

“They’re for whoever needs them, whoever we can help out,” Tom states. “We’re sending them all over. I wish I had 50 more units that I could put out there. There’s people out there that need them.”

Since first offering this service, Leisure Trailer Sales has become inundated with requests.

“When we get an RV, we put it on Facebook,” Tom explains. “People who are interested list their name underneath it. Then, the next day, we use a random draw generator. We don’t want to pick and choose who gets it. The stories behind the requests are so emotional.”

The community’s reaction to their generosity has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We’ve always been a community-driven company,” Tom explains. “We always like to support kids sports and charities. Whatever we can do to help other people out. The response has been just fantastic.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Leisure Trailer Sales remains committed to serving their customers.

“Even though we are closed, we are open,” Tom explains. “We’re continuing to sell RVs through our website and Facebook page. We might not be able to let people on the lot, but we have tons of information online. Then, you can touch base with our sales manager, my brother Edward, or our finance manager, my son-in-law Andrew. If we have the parts or accessories you need, we can do curbside pickup or drop off. We’re trying to help out the best we can.”

The Leisure Trailer team: Jim Raymond, JT Raymond, Edward Raymond, Nicole Ellwood, Stephanie Holding and Tom Raymond.

Tom credits his daughters, Stephanie, the Warranty Manager, and Nicole, the Accounting Manager and his nephew JT Raymond, the Service Manager, for keeping their clients safe and supplied during these unfortunate times.

“Stephanie and Nicole are supplying the RVs that we have out there,” Tom reports. “Toilet paper, chemicals. Anything they might need. They’re working hard at it. They’ve been with us quite a while, and they do exceptional work.”

And fortunately, Leisure Trailer Sales is not alone in their efforts.

“Kenny Suzor, the Operations Manager of Festival Tent and Party Rentals Inc., reached out to Stephanie,” Tom explains. “Their kids play hockey together. He found out about what we were doing on Facebook. He told her that they were available to offer pumping services to those frontline workers living in RVs.”

“We’re offering services to the frontline workers and first responders living in their campers right now,” Lea-ann Suzor, the President of Festival Tent, explains. “We’re bringing our portable toilet trucks onsite and doing the tank emptying there. It’s a service that we normally wouldn’t provide, but we’re trying to make things as painless as possible.”

“The Raymonds over at Leisure have been around for a long time, and they’ve
always been active in the community,”

Lea-ann states. “I’m out there working with community events and nonprofits all the time in my profession. I’ve seen the same faces over the decades. But now, everyone else is seeing them. Good makes good. If you’re doing nice things, everyone wants to do nice things. I think when this all settles down, we’ll all be a little more conscious of each other. We have to count on each other.”

Tom echoes Lea-ann’s sentiment. He notes that, despite the uncharted waters, this voyage in which found ourselves does not have to be a lonely one.

“Everyone is stepping up the best they can, offering whatever they can,” Tom states. “I think neighbors have gotten to know each other more in the last six weeks than they have in the last 20 years. When this is all over, I hope everyone stays communicated. They say there’s no I in team, and that’s the perfect expression for right now.”

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