The Recreation Vehicle Education Safety Foundation (RVSEF) will take on an expanded role educating consumers about RVs and the RV lifestyle during a Sept. 13-16 clinc prior to the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey, Pa.
“The number of RVers attending rallies is down, but the percentage of people attending our weighing and driving seminars actually is up,” said Walter Cannon, executive director of the Merrit Island, Fla.-based RVSEF.
Seminars will be presented by Workhorse Custom Chassis Inc., Spartan Chassis Inc., Freightliner Custom Chassis Inc., Cummins Inc.’s Onan generator division and Gary Motley of Motley RV Repair, Oklahoma City, Okla., in addition to the Geeks on Tour, who will teach Internet-related subjects, Nick Russell, publisher of Gypsy Journal, an RV lifestyle magazine, and Mac McCoy, who will instruct on fire and personal safety.
Cannon’s foundation has a full-time team on the road attending about 40 rallies a year sponsoring safety seminars focused on weighing loaded RVs and providing weight-safety instruction. RVSEF — the successor organization to “A’Weigh We Go” founded by John Anderson in Chucky, Tenn. — weighed about 1,500 motorhomes and towable RVs last year.
“We are seeing a decrease in the number of RVers who are overloading their tires,” Cannon said. “The tire manufacturers … have convinced RV manufacturers to install tires for how RVers are using their coaches.”
E-mails promoting the Pennsylvania clinic have gone out to potential RVers visiting the Go RVing Coalition’s gorving.com website, with another round of e-mail and postal mail followups planned early this summer.
The RVSEF clinic at the Wildwood Conference Center at Harrisburg (Pa.) Community College, in a manner of speaking, will fill a vacancy left by the poplar Life On Wheels program, which shut its doors in October following the death of founder Gaylord Maxwell. Maxwell sponsored his last Life on Wheels conference the week before the 2008 Hershey Show.
Dry camping for 100 rigs will be available at the college, and those attending for $249 for the first person and $199 for the second also will receive a three-day pass to the Hershey Show Sept. 16-20. Retail days are Sept. 14-15.
“The general need for a program like this is two-pronged,” Cannon said. “For the new owners, it enables them to understand their RV and the RV lifestyle so that they can get the most enjoyment out of their RV dollar.
“The second thing is that 30% of the attendees at Life on Wheels were non-RV owners. They were educating themselves about RVs before committing themselves to the expense. And about 90% of them purchased an RV during the next six months. It wasn’t a dealer or manufacturer talking to them, and they left Gaylord’s clinics feeling that they had the tools to make a decision about how to spend their money wisely.”