The Rangitsch family celebrates their commitment to the Missoula community
“When you buy from my family, you are part of the family,” said Jim Rangitsch, the owner of Rangitsch Brothers RV, in his trademark matter-of-fact way. For this businessman, customer service is the backbone of his family’s success and the reason why the local business is soon to celebrate its 60-year anniversary in the Missoula Valley.
Situated on West Broadway, hugging the edge of Missoula proper, is the place where this local staple calls home. Just inside its doors is something we tend to take for granted: the easily accessible and ready-to-meet-your-needs owner, Jim.
Jim’s father, RJ, got the idea to start the business in the mid-1950s. He was managing a Shell gas station and couldn’t, despite all his efforts, get used to the idea of being told what to do. He decided he would start renting out travel trailers and seek out financing—the beginnings of what would one day be a business-dream-come-true.
“When he tried to get a loan to buy the land, he was told he was crazy…. It was too far outside of Missoula,” said Jim, through a laugh. “There was nothing but a sugar beet factory out this way and now it’s all built up back here.”
Today, Rangitsch Brothers RVs is like a family heirloom that has survived through the generations.
“It is a true family business,” said Jim. Currently, one sister, Patty, is the office manager and Christiana, Jim’s wife, is the service manager. Jim’s nephew, Joel, is the general manager. All facets of the business are operated in successful tradition, which has led to the longevity of positions like Marcel’s and Bill’s, parts manager and shop foreman, respectively. Both have more than 40 years of experience between them.
“What I want people to know is that we are here for them…. We are good people. My door is always open,” said Jim. He proudly recounts the history of the establishment—its humble beginnings to how it has earned its stellar reputation. “You [have to] keep the people happy,” he said, further defending the weight of good customer service. “When they are happy, they are going to tell a thousand people. But, when you make someone angry, they will tell a thousand more people,” said Jim. “We try our very best, and that’s what built this business. My dad did…and my brother. We are a true family business. If you need something, don’t hesitate to call or stop in. If you are not happy, then come and see me, too.”
Luckily, for whatever direction our adventure arrow points, Rangitsch Brothers RVs does not, in fact, just sell RVs.
“I have the largest parts store in Montana,” said Jim. “It is always good to check the grounds because one might find a hidden treasure dotted between the recreational vehicles.” Jim and his staff sell anything he takes in on trade. Motorcycles, trucks, cars—anything! At any given time, he is likely to have some desired cars, trucks, boats, or even a couple of Harley Davidson bikes.
When asked about what products they carry that set them apart from the competition, Jim explained he only carries two brands of RVs—Outdoor RV and Jayco.
“They offer two-year warranties and stand behind their products,” said Jim. The best-seller of them all? The Jayco Melbourne. “It’s a diesel with a Mercedes chassis, and it gets 15 to 16 miles a gallon,” said Jim.
The average driver of a recreational vehicle is looking for the balance between comfort and cost when motoring. Saving on gas means spending more time with loved ones, and Rangitsch Brothers RV has adapted to those needs by supplying a more economical option. For Jim, the past 60 years have meant listening to customers and responding with the right product and service. His vision is one that has remained in clear focus, and so long as those standards are met, the wheels of adventure will continue turning.