After six-decades of serving Aldergrove, Kustom Koach RV Centre is closing down.
Manager Chris Carstensen confirmed Aug. 21 would be the last day that the RV centre at 26875 Fraser Hwy would be open to the public.
He noted that the main reason for the closure was that so the family could retire.
“The family is getting older and younger members don’t want to take it over,” Carstensen explained.
He said multiple family members currently make up the 12 staff members employed at Kustom Koach.
“It’s harder to keep up with big box stores when we are a small, family-run business,” he explained. “We quietly put the lot up for sale and everything went fast after that.”
Employee Tracy Ubell recalled that she came to work at Kustom Koach by chance in February of 2002 in the advertising and promotions department.
“I will certainly miss working there, and the people I worked with. But I have lots of happy memories, so you can’t complain about that,” she said.
Carl Carstensen’s skill as a carpenter and his fascination with RVs prompted him to first design and build one for himself in 1950.
Carl continued to work in the construction field while building custom ordered trailers out of his garage in his spare time.
In 1963, Carl’s business had grown enough for him to purchase the Fraser Highway location and follow his passion.
Carl eventually sold the manufacturing end of his company to Travelaire Canada Ltd in 1985, but retained the retail end under the name of Kustom Koach RV Centre.
He passed away on Oct. 8, 2007, though his family had taken over the business at that time.
”When he passed away, Kustom Koach was never quite the same,” Ubell recalled. “We went on for many years without him, which was really wonderful, but I always felt his absence.”
“The Carstensen family and its staff would like to thank all their customers for their loyalty and patronage throughout the years,” Carstensen said. “See you on the open road.”
More information can be found at www.kustomkoachrv.com.
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