RV Magazine Closes Up; Publishes Last Issue
Editor’s Note: In what amounts to a journalistic epitaph of sorts, RV Magazine Editor Adam Blattenberg penned the following column in the July/August 2014 issue. It was the last issue published before the magazine, which carried advertising from a handful of industry companies, went out of business. RV Magazine was a Source Interlink Media publication and the only general circulation consumer publication serving the U.S. recreational vehicle marketplace outside the Good Sam Enterprises LLC household of publications.
Around August 2009, I was turning wrenches at a Dodge/Chrysler dealership. When the economy crashed, it affected work immensely. Everyone was looking for a new way to pay the bills, and I decided it was a perfect opportunity to go back to school and finish my degree.
Not long after, I met Larry Saavedra at the truck shop where I had worked for years after high school (I had gone back to work there part time while attending college). Larry was RV Magazine’s Editor in Chief, and he’d been doing product reviews with the shop owner. I started helping out, mainly as a technical advisor to Larry. He taught me a ton about the magazine industry, and I ended up writing a few articles as well as helping out on some video productions.
In September 2011, Larry had unfortunately moved on from RV Magazine, and I became the new Editor in Chief. It was a crazy life change. I went from a heavy truck and RV technician and avid RVer, to the Editor of a North American magazine with fifty thousand-plus readers per issue—in two short years.
The following years have been truly surreal. Traveling the country from event to event, testing products, and making new friends, while reviewing outrageous RVs along the way has been the norm. To be paid to seek out the coolest new stuff out there, and test it all out at great destinations across the United States, well, it’s an experience I’ll never forget. Everyone should get to have this kind of a job. It’s just too much fun to be real.
Sadly, it may have indeed been too good to be true. This issue will be the final issue of RV Magazine. Yes, it’s true. You hold in your hands the final issue of RV. The reasons for the decision ultimately resulting in the magazine’s demise are, and were, well above my pay grade. However, a struggling print industry definitely has something to do with it. The RV industry is, in my opinion, doing well. If anything, the magazine was really starting to grow and help the industry more than ever. For example, I’ve just learned our vintage travel trailer build “Project Terry” is going to be inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana. Congratulations to Larry Walton, Coast Distribution, and everyone involved! This is only one of many successes lately. Things at RV Magazine were really starting to take off.
While this is a goodbye, it’s most definitely not a permanent one, as RV will live on at RVmagonline.com. RV could not be made without a whole crew of amazing people. You get to read articles by Mark Quasius, Phil Noyes, Jennifer Duncan, Ryan Price, and Larry Walton in just about every issue. This A team is some of the most-knowledgeable RV enthusiasts I’ve met. They, myself included, will not be leaving the industry. We’ll all find new venues to help our beloved RV industry and fellow RVers thrive. But there’s more work done behind the scenes. We’ve had three Managing Editors since inception. Patrick Vuong, Sarah Maxwell, and Lisa Hanks have all had to deal with my procrastination and third-grade grammar, and I thank you all. Brad Crowder, RV’s Art Director, is responsible for the how good the magazine looks each issue. Brad’s got some real talent and the magazine would not be the same without his skills.
There are so many more I need to thank, but most of all our readers. I’ve been lucky enough to meet many of you at shows and campgrounds (Thanks for the sweatshirt KOA neighbors! You know who you are). I’ve said it so many times before: RVers are some of the greatest people in the world. Making new, lifelong friends while working on this magazine have been the most important things I’ll take with me after we close the final page of RV. I thank you all for your support and look forward to the future. It’s been a blast!