Publisher: Truck Campers ‘Getting No Respect’

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August 17, 2017 by   2 Comments

OnlineTruck Camper magazine Publisher Gordon White thinks slidein truck campers don’t get much respect from the Go RVing Coalition, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI), the Michigan-based repository for RV retail registrations.

He said as much recently in his weekly publication.

”I’m just trying to give truck campers a fair shake,” said White, who has operated the Truck Camper website for 10 years. ”This is deeply hurting the truck camper market.”

While wholesale truck camper shipments are not enjoying the resurgence that the RV industry as a whole is experiencing, wholesale slidein truck camper sales through June were down 16.6% for the year vs. total industry shipments up 13.3%.

So, why is it, he asks, that Go RVing promotional material provides so little information, or imagery, on truck campers while listing them as towable units rather than providing their own designation?

In stories on his website, White also contends that truck camper shipment and retail sales numbers are inaccurate and that many more truck campers are built and sold than reported.

RVIA’s seven truck camper manufacturing members provide self-reported shipment numbers monthly to RVIA, as do all motorized and towable member-manufacturers. ”Not all the manufacturers report accurate data,” claimed White, who never mentioned details about that allegation.

At the same time, RVIA receives only information from its members, we’re told, and SSI is hampered in collecting retail statistics because 42 states don’t require truck campers registrations since they aren’t considered vehicles.

”We accurately report the numbers from the eight states where we find registrations,” said SSI General Manager Scott Stropkai. ”If he’s looking for national totals, we don’t have that.”

In a letter to White published in Truck Camper magazine, James Ashhurst, RVIA senior vice president of communications and marketing, said the leadership of the all-industry Go RVing Coalition’s national marketing campaign that he oversees for co-owners RVIA and RVDA will ”see if we can clarify language where appropriate to better reflect the diverse product offering in the truck camper space.”

Ashurst also wrote that RVIA would talk to manufacturer members to ”determine whether there is a recommendation for our Market Information Committee.”

”Go RVing is committed to promoting the RV lifestyle and showcasing the best our industry has to offer across all product segments,” wrote Ashurst. “In reviewing our recent promotions, we agree that we should work to feature more truck campers as part of the larger RV industry across all of our promotional platforms…”

In addition, Ashurst said he’d reach out to truck camper manufacturing members soon to get their input and direction on the issues and concerns you have presented.


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2 Responses to “Publisher: Truck Campers ‘Getting No Respect’”

  1. Brent Baker on August 17th, 2017 2:48 pm

    I fully agree with the lack of information regarding the truck camper market. Truck campers deserve their own market segment and should not be grouped in as a towable. Gathering data only from major RV manufacturers who are members of the RVIA does not come close to capturing the truck camper sales in America, and most of those camper products don’t meet the needs of truck camper buyers. When doing a small amount of market research for our company, I found that the annual sales data RVIA has on truck campers doesn’t even equal the total number units sold by a non RVIA member company. This can be quite misleading to consumers, and does not show well for truck camper manufacturers.

  2. Edward Phillips on August 17th, 2017 6:33 pm

    I thank Mr. Ashurst for an open mind and his willingness to include all of us in the RV camp.

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