So­lar 4 RV’s unique ser­vice wins award

Big Rigs - - NEWS - Kate Dodd kate.dodd@bi­

“OH GOOD­NESS, we have to go get up on stage.”

Those were the words of Trish Cha­pal­laz, who was sit­ting with her hus­band at the Op­tus My Busi­ness Awards, when she found out they’d won the Aus­tralian Re­tail Busi­ness of the Year.

The cou­ple owns So­lar 4 RVs, a spe­cial­ist busi­ness pro­vid­ing so­lar sys­tems for trucks and other mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions.

“It was a re­ally nice sur­prise,” Trish said.

They trav­elled to Syd­ney for the awards on Novem­ber 10, but didn’t have a speech pre­pared as there were seven wor­thy fi­nal­ists and they didn’t ex­pect to be an­nounced as win­ner.

“We’d won a few (awards) be­fore but this was the whole of Aus­tralia,” Trish said.

“We were hop­ing to win, ev­ery­one thinks they have some­thing unique, and then we heard our names and I said, ‘Oh good­ness, we have to get up on stage’.”

The busi­ness pro­vides so­lar power for owner-driv­ers and fleets.

The so­lar sys­tems for trail­ers and sleeper cabs pro­vide an off-grid, in­de­pen­dent power source that en­sures am­ple power to power lights and mon­i­tor­ing equip­ment.

Trish said the judges said they se­lected So­lar 4 RVs for be­ing an “in­dus­try leader that demon­strates in­no­va­tion and ex­em­pli­fies best prac­tice and ex­cel­lence in cus­tomer ser­vice”.

“Our unique­ness and com­mit­ment to qual­ity was an­other fac­tor in the win,” Trish said.

“There will al­ways be peo­ple want­ing the cheap­est prod­uct avail­able but we are not fo­cused on be­ing all things to all peo­ple.

“The chal­lenge for us is overcoming con­sumer wari­ness about flex­i­ble so­lar pan­els.

“The in­for­ma­tion we pro­vide to sup­port our sales is ac­cu­rate, prac­ti­cal and re­li­able.

“This wealth of knowl­edge can­not be eas­ily or quickly repli­cated by com­peti­tors as it has been ac­cu­mu­lated through years of ex­ten­sive re­search, test­ing and cus­tomer feed­back.”

The cou­ple started the busi­ness after buy­ing a car­a­van in 2013.

They re­alised there was no-one of­fer­ing light­weight so­lar sys­tem so­lu­tions for mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions and a de­mand for ad­vice and ap­pro­pri­ate prod­ucts that wasn’t be­ing met.

So, draw­ing upon Phil’s ex­pe­ri­ence as a char­tered engi­neer with a first-class honours de­gree in elec­tri­cal and elec­tronic en­gi­neer­ing, and Trish’s his­tory in ed­u­ca­tion and man­age­ment po­si­tions, they launched in March 2014, spe­cial­is­ing in light­weight so­lar sys­tems for off-grid ap­pli­ca­tions, stock­ing the largest range of thin, light­weight, flex­i­ble so­lar pan­els in Aus­tralia and of­fer­ing a unique de­sign and ad­vice ser­vice.

Ap­pli­ca­tions in­clude trucks, trail­ers, vans, car­a­vans, mo­torhomes, campers, utes, yachts, boats, fer­ries, trains, golf carts and kayaks. They also pro­vide en­gi­neered so­lar so­lu­tions for in­dus­trial equip­ment such as gantry cranes and pumps.


AUSSIE WIN­NERS: Trish and Phil Cha­pal­laz won the Aus­tralian Re­tail Busi­ness of the Year award at the Op­tus My Busi­ness Awards.


The cou­ple started the busi­ness after buy­ing a car­a­van in 2013.

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