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Go RVing Canada to Usher in Travel Season

May 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Go RVing Canada is hosting an “RV Vacation Season Kick-Off Event and Press Conference” on May 19, at the brink of the Niagara Falls.

According to a press release, Go RVing Canada will be “promoting awareness of the thriving RV industry” and talking about the benefits of RVing.

They will also be reminding Canadians that an RV vacation remains an extremely economical way for families to travel, regardless of gas prices.

The press conference is scheduled for 10 a.m., EDT, at the Table Rock Welcome Center, 6650 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Go RVing Canada asks that to confirm attendance and arrange an interview with Go RVing Canada’s national spokesperson at Niagara Parks, the world famous nature and entertainment park centered around the magnificent Niagara Falls, contact: Angèle Lapointe, Go RVing Canada spokesperson.

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GoRVing Canada Stats Pointing to Healthy 2011

May 9, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Go RVing Canada announced today (May 9) Canadian RV show attendance and sales figures for 2011, demonstrating that the RV industry is healthier than ever. The numbers were notable across the board, as thousands of Canadians visited their local RV show over the past few months to see this year’s latest trends.

In 2011, the 31st Annual Edmonton RV Exposition & Sale and 42nd Annual Calgary RV Show and Sale both saw impressive increases in attendance figures, reporting 45.2% and 11.42% increases respectively. The Toronto Fall RV Show saw an 11.53% increase this year compared to the previous year. The Ottawa Spring RV Show saw bigger crowds than last year on both the Friday and Saturday, with an overall total of 17,084 visitors. Canadians were also taking advantage of the incredible sales this year, buying RVs directly from dealers at the shows. The Québec and Montréal RV shows saw increases in sales, reporting 27.93% and 5.47% increases respectively.

Go RVing Canada has recently revealed that total retail sales at RV dealerships in Canada have surged close to pre-recession levels. With sales up an impressive 18.4% across the country for 2010, this represents a very strong outcome for an industry coming out of one of the worst economic downturns in recent history.

More good news for the RV industry: summer bookings in campgrounds are up 12% this year, according to the Toronto region Conservation Authority. Similarly, Ontario Parks says it has also been seeing much higher numbers than usual at Canadian provincial parks, with reservations up by 11 per cent.

“These recent figures confirm that regardless of the increase in fuel prices, Canadians still believe that RVing is the most affordable and flexible vacation option,” said Go RVing Canada spokesperson Angèle Lapointe. “An RV vacation remains an extremely economical way for families to travel.”

Depending on the RV model, a typical family RV vacation can be up to 75 per cent less expensive per day than other forms of vacation travel. According to a recent cost-comparison study conducted by PKF Consulting, an RV trip is shown to be more economical when compared to a traditional week’s vacation for a family of four, when you consider the costs of flights, car rental, hotels and eating out at restaurants.

For more information on RV shows and exhibitions and the RV lifestyle, please visit www.GoRVing.ca

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Contest Names Top Canadian RV Destinations

March 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Go RVing Canada, in partnership with the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), conducted a contest survey this past summer in honor of the RV Centennial, encouraging RV enthusiasts across the country to submit their favorite spots to visit in an RV.

After whittling down the best entries from the various provinces there were just too many world-class destinations to present a top 10, according to a news release. Here then, in no particular order, are the Top 11 places to visit in Canada in an RV:

  • Banff National Park, Alberta
  • Gros Morne to St. Johns, Newfoundland
  • Kluane Lake, Yukon
  • Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, British Columbia
  • Banff National Park, Alberta
  • Douglas Provincial Park, Saskatchewan
  • Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Manitoba
  • Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
  • Gaspésie, Québec
  • The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia
  • Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
  • Twin Shores Camping Area, Prince Edward Island
  • Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador
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RVIA U.S./Canada Seal Pact ‘Mission in Motion’

March 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Richard Coon

Richard Coon

A new Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) plan to collect Go RVing Canada unit assessments for U.S. manufacturers doing business there still needs the approval of the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association (CRVA) board of trustees.

But that approval looks all but certain.Go RVing Canada logo

”Are we going forward with RVIA? I’m sure our board will,” said CRVA President Roger Faulkner, president of recreational park model builder General Coach Inc., Hensall, Ontario.

”But the RVIA announcement (which followed last week’s board meeting) is a little premature. It’s not a done deal. It’s a mission in motion.”

Faulkner said the CRVA executive committee already had met and approved the plan which this year would funnel approximately $2 million to Go RVing Canada.

The full CRVA board will consider the proposal May 15 at a Toronto meeting.

Meanwhile, RVIA President Richard Coon said RVIA is putting together a ”webinar” for later this month that will explain the changeover to its U.S. manufacturing members.

The RVIA board last week approved the plan during a board meeting in Tucson, Ariz. Coon said RVIA members will be expected to comply with the new setup by June 1.

The Go RVing assessment for seals placed on RVs being sold in Canada will be the same as in the United States — $46 for each folding camping trailer shipped, $61 for each travel trailer and fifth-wheel and $74 for motorhomes.

Currently, the Go RVing Canada assessment is a flat $75 on all units, and in 2010 the Canadian coalition estimates seal income of $1.5 million.

Most RVs sold in Canada are required to carry Canada Standards Association (CSA) or Quality Assurance International (QAI) seals attesting that the units were built to CSA Z240 safety standard, which differs slightly from the U.S. standard.

A Go RVing Canada assessment is added to the cost of each seal as it is in the U.S. and the money forwarded to the CRVA and then onto Go RVing Canada.

However, reporting and procedures are different throughout the 11 Canadian provinces. Quebec, for instance, doesn’t require any seal on RVs sold there.

While the Go RVing portion of the seal cost will drop off the CSA and QAI seals, they will still be required along with an RVIA seal which will carry the Go RVing assessment.

”For a number of years now, Go RVing Canada has struggled to collect their fair share of the assessments,” Coon said. ”What we are doing here will collect more Go RVing money for Canada than ever before.”

”There is no question that it’s an issue,” Faulkner told RVBUSINESS.com. ”Go RVing Canada has been left out in cold the last few years. It would make it easier for manufacturers in the United States and certainly for the dealers up here.”

Over the years, Go RVing Canada’s marketing campaign has mirrored that developed by the Go RVing Coalition in the United States. However, because it collects far less money than its U.S. counterpart, Go RVing focus has been on the print media.

At the Tucson meeting, RVIA established a Canadian Coalition Committee to sort through issues that involve the two countries, including unifying the their safety standards with regards to RVs.

At the meeting the RVIA board also adopted the 2011 edition of the NFPA 1192 standard for RVs that includes a new standard for low-voltage electric systems. RVIA also approved a proposal to improve the RV Certification Testing Preparatory Course by adopting an RV Service Technician Career Ladder and instructed its staff to continue development of a proposed RV service certification plan.

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Big Crowd Expected for New Brunswick Show

March 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Moncton RV show venue

Moncton RV show venue

From Friday (March 4) through Sunday, New Brunswick’s largest and longest running RV show returns to the Moncton Coliseum, the Moncton Times & Transcript reported.

Each year this is the place to check out the newest models, see what accessories are out there and even get information on local campgrounds.

Some people tend to think of a recreational vehicle as opulent and perhaps a retirement plan, but starting at $6,000 there is actually something for everyone.

“We are bringing everything to the show,” says Steve Barr, of the Moncton RV Center, “from a 34-foot hard-top tent trailer all the way up to a $90,000 luxury fifth-wheel.”

In fact, that one dealer alone will have 38 different models on the floor.

“This is an opportunity to see the newest and most exciting models of all the lines,” says Denise Miller of Master Promotions. “We will have over 200 units on site representing some 70 different lines.”

In 2010, RV sales were up an impressive 21% across Canada, with many of these sales happening at RV shows. Dealerships are reporting sales have surged close to pre-recession levels. At the Moncton RV Show in 2010, over $3.74 million in inventory was sold right off the show floor.

“This has been an incredible year for RVing in Canada, particularly coming out of such a turbulent period for the Canadian economy,” said Go RVing Canada spokeswoman Alana Fontaine. “More and more Canadians are discovering the fun, freedom and flexibility that an RV vacation provides, and this is why we’ve moved close to pre-recession sales levels across the country.”SetWidth220-MONCTONRV

So why did over 7,000 people show up last year to check out the RVs?

GoRVing, the No. 1 promoter of the RV lifestyle, puts it this way: an RV is a home on wheels.

Whether you tow it or drive it, you are bringing along all the comforts of home, including all of your own possessions, while you travel.

On top of that, with an RV you prepare all of your own food in your own kitchen, camp with power and water, and probably even a flat screen television, and enjoy the great outdoors without any of the hassles.

“Add up airfare, a rental car and a hotel stay and a family vacation can put you back thousands of dollars. That’s why many are hitting the pavement for quality family time,” says Scott Sprague, the show manager.

Studies show that an RV actually saves you about 70% of the cost of a traditional vacation. And RV vacations are now being touted as the perfect getaway for anyone, whether you are retired and want an adventure, or you are a family with kids who are fussy and hard to please, or even a busy double income family with hardly any spare time to prepare.

With an RV you can get away almost every weekend.

Here are some interesting statistics to consider:

  • 14% of Canadian households own an RV.
  • There are over 1 million RVs on the road in Canada.
  • 67% of RV owners are under the age of 55.
  • 40% of RV families have children.

“The Baby Boomers are still our big market,” says Barr. “We see a lot of people buying units as they retire. Some of them are even selling their homes and hitting the road; but we see more and more that families are getting back into it, and we are selling a lot of bunk models.”

He goes on to say that they are selling a good mixture of all types of units, from tent trailers, through towable, fifth-wheels and bus models. The type of unit you want depends a lot on what you are using it for and what stage of life you are at.

“We can tell at the show as well that the popularity if RVing is increasing,” says Miller. “We see a lot of different ages coming to the show. You see people coming in with babies on their hips and they are buying RV’s and they will do it all their life. It is affordable and something you can do every weekend.”

Barr says that the Moncton RV Center has been involved in this show from the very beginning over a decade ago.

“We keep going because it is a perfect environment to show our new and current models,” he said. “Anything new in 2011 we bring it to the show, plus we get to go out there and see what everyone else is doing; it is a good start for our season.”

And if you are in the market for an RV this is the best place to buy one for two more reasons; the first is the $10,000 dollar promotional contest that each RV purchaser gets a chance of winning. One of the people who buy on-site will win this money back.

There is also a contest for all visitors to win $500 from Action Car and Truck Accessories.

“It is a way of life,” concludes Barr. “What we like to think is that we sell a lifestyle, with today’s hustle and bustle and fast pace of life, and mom and dad both working, this gives families an opportunity to get out to nature and enjoy the weekend.”

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2010 Canadian RV Retail Sales Soared 25.1%

February 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

210px-Flag_of_Canada.svg_ Canada’s RV industry — with retail sales of 41,745 units, up 25.1% in 2010 vs. 2009 — appears to be  rapidly emerging from the economic decline. By segment, motorhome sales were up 58.6% while towables climbed 23.2%.

Canadian wholesale shipments for the first three quarters of the year increased by 66.2% to 51,650 units,  according to the Canadian government agency Statistics Canada.

”We aren’t where we were in ’07 and ’08, but we definitely are on the right track,” said Eleonore Hamm, president of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA Canada). ”The Canadian economy is getting better all around.”

Retail sales in the U.S. in 2010, meanwhile, were up 7.8%, a smaller percentage than in Canada but that increase represented a much larger volume — 156,537 total units.

Eleonore Hamm

Eleonore Hamm

Behind Canada’s good fortune: To put it simply, the global recession has taken less of a bit of America’s northern neighbor.

”The Canadian market is growing at a much more rapid pace than the U.S. market,” said Tom Walworth, president of Statistical Surveys, Inc., the Grand Rapids, Mich., company that monitors North American retail sales. ”And on the motorized side, the Canadian market is much smaller internally. The trailer market is four times larger than the motorized market but motorized sales are growing faster. Things are going pretty well up there.”

Hamm noted that the recession didn’t hit Canada until fully six months after its effect was being been in the U.S. ”Our dealers had time to see what was happening in the U.S. and adjust what they were doing,” she said.

Canadian retail RV sales also have benefited from the Canadian and U.S. dollars being closer to par than they were earlier in the decade, which makes units sold in Canada less expensive for the consumer.

”RV prices have come down just because of the dollar,” Hamm said. ”Most of the RVs sold in Canada are imported from the U.S., and the product you would have bought a year or two ago is actually cheaper right now.”

Hamm said lower pricing due to the dollars’ parity has a double edge. ”It helps dealers bringing in product,” she said. ”But people still shop the Internet for cheaper products in the U.S.”

That, she maintained, can be a fool’s choice.

”Often, they don’t factor in freight costs and taxes at the border. Is it cheaper? The initial price might be, but when they factor in everything else, ultimately the answer is ‘no.”’

Cross-border competition from Internet-savvy RV dealers also has driven down prices for the Canadian buyer.

”Our guys know they are competing with the Internet, so their pricing and margins have been a lot smaller than they have been in the past,” said Dan Merkowsky, executive vice president of the RV Dealers Association of Alberta (RVDA Alberta).

The trend toward smaller towables seen in the U.S. also is obvious in Canada. ”Dealers sold a lot more pull trailers vs. fifth-wheels,” Merkowsky said.

In fact, more than three times the travel trailers were sold in Canada than fifth-wheels — through November, 26,201 versus 8,322, respectively.

Larry Boyd, executive vice president of the Canadian Recreation Vehicle Association (CRVA) who produces six RV shows in Canada, said there is an influx of younger buyers as the economy recovers.

”We saw way more younger families at our shows,” Boyd said. ”There’s no statistical data. It’s just that I see what I see. Young families are really starting to get into the lifestyle.”

”It’s not a surprise,” said Angele Lapointe, a spokesman for Go RVing Canada. ”People are trying to find ways to keep on traveling, but on a budget. RVing is a great way for families to spend time together without having to spend money on hotels and restaurants and the like. With RVs, families have more control over their travel.”

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Go RVing Canada Touts 21% RV Sales Rise

January 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Go RVing Canada logo

Go RVing Canada logo

Go RVing Canada has reported that annual RV sales figureswere up an impressive 21% across the country for 2010.

A record number of Canadian families are discovering the fun and flexible travel that the RV lifestyle provides, and are taking advantage of continued affordability in the marketplace, the Canadian coalition reported.

“Not only are sales up 21% so far this year over 2009, but total retail sales at RV dealerships in Canada have surged close to pre-recession levels. This represents a very strong result for an industry coming out of one of the worst economic downturns in memory,” Go RVing Canada continued.

“This has been an incredible year for RVing in Canada, particularly coming out of such a turbulent period for the Canadian economy,” said Go RVing Canada spokesperson Alana Fontaine. “More and more Canadians are discovering the fun, freedom and flexibility that an RV vacation provides, and this is why we’ve moved close to pre-recession sales levels across the country.”

While consumer prices in most other industries have been on the increase since the end of the recession, RV purchase prices have remained stable at the record-low levels consumers have been enjoying for several years, due largely to the strength of the Canadian dollar.

“Today’s economic climate may be on the road to recovery, but Canadians are still looking for affordable travel options,” continued Fontaine. “RV vacations represent an extremely economical way for families to travel”.

For more information on RVing and RV shows across Canada, please visit www.GoRVing.ca.

The Go RVing Canada coalition was formed in 1997, and consists of RV manufacturers, RV dealers and campground operators. The coalition serves as the Canadian RV camping industry ambassador to provide the public and media with information about the benefits of RV travel. The coalition also seeks to enhance consumer information and satisfaction with the RV experience.

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Go RVing Canada Concludes 2010 Promotion

November 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Go RVing Canada has concluded its Top 11 Spots to Go RVing in Canada promotion, which commemorated each province’s top destination to Go RVing.

The winning regions were selected by hundreds of submissions received by Canadian travelers through Go RVing Canada’s recent Top 100 Spots to RV in Canada Centennial Contest.

This past July, Go RVing Canada, in partnership with the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), launched the month-long contest in honor of the RV Centennial. This contest engaged RV enthusiasts from across Canada, encouraging them to submit their favourite spot to RV in the country for a chance to win an Apple iPad.

“These top Canadian RV destinations definitely earned their votes,” says Go RVing Canada Spokesperson Angèle Lapointe. “This contest has made us realize how lucky we are as Canadians to have unlimited access to such beautiful sites. We are positive this event has inspired people to go on their own RV adventures and explore our amazing country for themselves!”

The Top 11 spots to RV in Canada are:

  • Kluane Lake, Yukon
  • Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, British Columbia
  • Banff National Park, Alberta
  • Douglas Provincial Park, Saskatchewan
  • Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Manitoba
  • Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
  • Gaspésie, Québec
  • The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia
  • Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
  • Twin Shores Camping Area, Prince Edward Island
  • Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador

For more information on RVing and the RV lifestyle, visit www.GoRVing.ca.

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Albertan Man Wins Go RVing Canada Prize

August 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Go RVing Canada logoGo RVing Canada recently announced the winner of its “Top 100 Spots to RV in Canada” Centennial Contest.

Lloyd Blue from Camrose, Alberta, won the contest through a drawing that took place on Aug. 6, after entering his favorite spot to RV in Canada – Two O’Clock Campground in the Kootenay Plains ecological reserve, according to a news release.

Go RVing Canada, in partnership with the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), launched the month-long contest on July 6 in commemoration of the RV Centennial. This contest, engaging RV enthusiasts across Canada, allowed Canadians to submit their favorite spot to RV in Canada for a chance to win an Apple iPad.

“We had over 570 entries during the contest,” said Go RVing Canada Spokesperson Angèle Lapointe. “It was absolutely incredible to read all of the submissions and it really makes us realize how fortunate we are to live in such a great country.”

The complete list of favorite Canadian RV destinations is available on Go RVing Canada’s website, www.GoRVing.ca, and consists of answers submitted by Canadians from coast to coast.

Some of the top spots to RV in Canada include: Kluane Lake (Yukon), Pacific Rim National Park (British Columbia), Eagle Lake RV Resort (Strathmore, Alberta), Douglas Provincial Park (Saskatchewan), Spruce Woods Provincial Park (Manitoba), Algonquin Park (Ontario), Gaspésie (Québec), King Neptune Campground (Indian Harbour, Nova Scotia), Cavendish Sunset (Prince Edward Island), Fundy National Park (New Brunswick) and Gros Morne (Newfoundland and Labrador).

“This event is a true testament to the RV lifestyle,” added Lapointe, “which clearly remains a popular vacation choice for those who are looking for an affordable vacation that offers freedom, flexibility and fun.”

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Go RVing Canada Seeks Top RVing Locales

July 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

image001Go RVing Canada, in partnership with the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), has officially launched its “Top 100 Spots to RV in Canada” Contest, in commemoration of the RV Centennial.

This month-long contest, engaging RV enthusiasts across Canada, will allow participants to submit their favorite spot to RV in Canada for a chance to win an Apple iPad in a draw on Aug. 6.

2010 marks 100 years since the first mass-produced motorized camper was produced. Several events will be taking place throughout the year across North America and Go RVing Canada is thrilled to take part in the celebrations honoring this important occasion.

“This event reinforces what we’ve been saying for years – RVing remains a popular vacation choice for those who are looking for freedom, flexibility, and fun,” says Go RVing Canada spokesperson Angèle Lapointe. “RVing is a lifestyle that many Canadians have adopted and have maintained, and the best part is, it’s incredibly affordable!”

“The RV lifestyle continues to thrive and that’s what the Centennial is all about,” adds Eleonore Hamm, RVDA of Canada president. “We are excited to hear about the many incredible RV destination spots that Canadians are visiting and raving about.”

“RVing is an intimate and accessible way to explore our beautiful country,” says Gisele Danis, CTC executive director, Strategic Marketing, Canada Program. “The CTC is pleased to take part in the celebration of this milestone event and inspire Canadians to discover a Canada they didn’t know existed from coast, to coast, to coast.”

To participate in the contest, RV enthusiasts are invited to visit www.GoRVing.ca and fill out a ballot for a chance to win.

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