Final RVB/Blue Ox Survey: Consolidate Shows

December 26, 2012 by · Comments Off on Final RVB/Blue Ox Survey: Consolidate Shows 

Judging by the late year buzz throughout the industry, RVBusiness staff members knew they were posing a loaded question when they asked the industry in the final RVB/Blue Ox survey on Dec. 11 this simple question: “Would you still prefer that the key national trade associations work toward an All-Industry Show?”

To say that the response was conclusive would be a gross understatement because the concluding survey of 2012 indicated that 90.1% of the respondents were in favor of a consolidated national fall trade event while only 9.9% don’t like the idea.

Here’s a few responses, all of these in favor of a more integrated show calendar:

By having the Elkhart event and the RVIA show in Louisville it makes it very difficult for dealers. A show in October, preferably in Louisville or Chicago, potentially combined with the RVDA would serve all interests.

It’s time to realize that there is no longer a need for all the shows and that most dealers are not willing to continue to attend all of them. One show just makes good sense, saves money and would, in my opinion, increase overall attendance. – Don

It’s going to take some compromises by all sides, but it’s achievable.

The current set up is insane and will only hurt both RVDA and RVIA.

Terrible waste of time and money with present setup!

Central USA? Chicago

I believe it would have more to offer being “All-Together.” Should be held in Vegas. – Donn Kaebisch, OnSite Temp Housing

I have seen both the RVDA and RVIA shows continually grow smaller and smaller and each year there are less and less dealers and with the new Open House, it is killing the suppliers. Something needs to be done. These shows cost way too much to attend with the recent low dealer turnout. I don’t think trying to combine the RVDA show is going to work. They have way too many seminars and the dealers already have no time to see any of the booths that are set up. RVIA and Open House would be good.

RVIA and RVDA (shows) are weakening and the Open House lacks organization. If it was done right for all 3 groups it could be very effective.

After spending 47 years in the RV industry I am a believer in that style of format with one major suggestion: If it is chosen as the Louisville Show, it needs to be expanded as far as the number of available days for viewing product and talking with Vendors and Mfg’s. I would think you might draw more exhibitors. I also like the idea of combining everything into the Open House in Elkhart, but condense the area, instead of having them so spread out. I am very interested in the suppliers. Have a huge tent maybe at the Hall of Fame and also have public days and open the Hall of Fame, free admission for a couple of the public days and ask for donations. – Holiday World RV Consultants & Advisors

“Our intent in posing this question is to keep people thinking and developing ideas for what might happen down the road if everyone stays focused on the goal at hand – hosting cost-effective trade events that hold true value for attendees, exhibitors and sponsors, whether it’s RVIA’s, RVDA’s, RVAA’s or the Elkhart RV industry’s emerging Open House,” said RVB Publisher Sherman Goldenberg

RVB’s staff adds a note of gratitude — and a “Happy New Year!” greeting — to the industry at large and to all those who participated in the survey this year and especially to the senior management of survey partner and sponsor Blue Ox, a Pender, Neb.-based towing products manufacturer.


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Trouble Shooter Demos Are a Hit in Louisville

December 7, 2012 by · Comments Off on Trouble Shooter Demos Are a Hit in Louisville 

Traffic was steady for the Trouble Shooter Clinic Demonstation at the Louisville Show

There was steady traffic at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA)Trouble Shooter Clinic Demonstration at the National RV Trade Show with dealers and industry members stopping by to learn more about the comprehensive technical training available through the program.

According to a press release, the Trouble Shooter Clinic Demonstration took place over the course of the three-day Louisville Show with instructors on hand to provide demonstrations and answer questions. Attendees could also receive a 10% discount on registration fees for any of the upcoming 2013 clinics in the U.S. and enter raffle drawings.

Jason Skinner of Mike Thompson’s RV in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., won free registration for a 2013 U.S.-based Trouble Shooter Clinic and Dennis West of Mid-Ohio RV in Mansfield, Ohio, won a set of RV technician textbooks.

“We were very pleased with the interest in the Trouble Shooter Clinic Demonstration,” said RVIA Vice President of Standards and Education Bruce Hopkins. “We were able to give a lot of people an introduction to what the clinics are all about and how they can benefit their service operations.”

“A key component of the success of the demonstration was the participation of the instructors who were on hand in Louisville. We are very appreciative of involvement.” Participating instructors included Glen Null, Dexter Axle Co.; Joe Riexinger, Cequent Towing Products; Bud Vandermel, Lippert Components Inc.; Wendel Sheldon; Shurlo; Garett Carolus, Keystone RV Co.; Chris Black, Norcold; Bob Horner, Dometic Corp.; Ronnie Ellison, Airxcel/Suburban; Dick Wade, Airxcel; Mike Williams, Atwood Mobile Products; Bryan Ritchie, Onan Corp.; and Kyle Johnston and Fred Louck, Girard Systems. Several companies also provided equipment, including Parallax Power Supply, Harris Battery, Precision Circuits and Magnum Energy.

2013 Trouble Shooter Clinic Schedule

RVIA’s 2013 schedule of Trouble Shooter Clinics kicks off Jan. 28–31 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colo. Other sessions will take place Feb. 18–21 at the Radisson Hotel Ontario Airport in Ontario, Calif.; March 25–28 at the Century Center in South Bend, Ind.; a session in Tampa, Fla., in the July/August timeframe; and Nov. 4–7 in Calgary, Alberta.

RVIA’s Trouble Shooter Clinics now offer participants more class time, smaller class sizes and expanded hands-on training in a track-oriented format featuring four specialty areas.

Participants attend one track at a time and need to complete the Foundation track, or already be a certified RV service technician, before taking any of the other three tracks. The tracks being offered in the 2013 sessions include:

• Foundation/Plumbing – 3 days (24 hours) for $480 per person.

• Running Gear, Hydraulics, Slide-Outs, & Towing – 2 days (16 hours) for $320 per person.

• Appliances – 4 days (32 hours) for $640 per person.

• Power Sources – 3 days (24 hours) for $480 per person.

The registration fee equates to approximately $20 per credit hour. Trouble Shooter Clinic attendees will receive a 10% discount on any RV service technician certification testing, if taken within 90 days following the clinic.

To register for a Trouble Shooter Clinic or receive more information, please contact RVIA’s Nancy Jo Bell-London in the Education Department at or (703) 620-6003, ext. 355.

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Join RVB in Toasting RVIA’s 50th National Show

November 12, 2012 by · Comments Off on Join RVB in Toasting RVIA’s 50th National Show 

Louisville Pipe Band entertains at last year's RVB party

As the industry prepares for its annual pilgrimage to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 50th Annual National RV Trade Show, Nov. 27-29, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., the staff of RVBusiness and is inviting show attendees to join them in toasting RVIA’s “Golden Anniversary” at RVB’s traditional Wednesday night Louisville party.

“RVB’s Annual Cash Bar Extravaganza” is slated for 7-11 p.m. on Nov. 28 at the Hard Rock Café Louisville downtown in the 4th Street Live Entertainment Complex, 424 South 4th Street, Louisville, Ky., 40202.

The RVIA toast takes place at 9 p.m., and the Louisville Pipe Band presents its annual bagpipe salute at 9:20 p.m. Light hors d’ouevres are provided and no RSVP is required.

“I can’t remember precisely how many years we’ve be hosting this party, which actually started among a group of friends about 20 years ago at Lilly’s on Bardstown Road, and it just grew from there,” says RVB Publisher Sherman Goldenberg. “Over the years, we’ve held the party at a variety of Louisville locations, each, frankly, more enjoyable than the last. And we’ve been doing the bagpipe serenade the whole time.

“Now, of course, it’s become an enjoyable tradition, and one that we’d like to share with the wider industry at this poignant moment in history for Reston, Va.-based RVIA, which has been hosting the National RV Trade Show all these years as the industry’s largest, product-centric, business-to-business show venue.”


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Louisville Bridge Repair Could Pose Challenges

November 7, 2011 by · Comments Off on Louisville Bridge Repair Could Pose Challenges 

RVIA National RV Trade Show

The Sept. 9 closure of a key I-64 bridge over the Ohio River between Indiana and Kentucky could pose some challenges for those attending RVIA’s 49th Annual RV Trade Show, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Louisville, Ky.

Just how much depends on whom you talk to.

Crews this week are preparing the nearly 50-year-old Sherman Minton Bridge, which was unexpectedly closed Sept. 9 after several cracks were found in steel support beams for an elaborate $13.9 million fix. The repairs will add 2.4 million pounds of new steel plating along both sides of the 1,600-foot span. Around-the-clock efforts are expected to lead to a March reopening.

In the interim, it’s fair to say, the closure of the I-64 bridge, one of three spanning the Ohio River at Louisville, has frustrated commuters who have been largely funneled over to the I-65 bridge at Clarksville, Ind.

Don’t worry about it, says one unnamed Louisville Metro Police Department official consulted Monday (Nov. 7) by He claims things are moving smoothly, even in the morning and evening rush hours. Just plan a little extra time for the commute to the Kentucky Exposition Center, he suggested, and you’ll be fine.

“Well, it’s been two months and, right now, the traffic’s been moving smoothly for work hours in the morning and at night,” he said. “It’s not a big deal. It might take a little more time than if the other (I-64) bridge was open. But the way that they’ve rerouted traffic – you can either still go I-65 or the Clark Memorial Bridge off of Second Street — I wouldn’t see where you’re going to have much problem.”

However, another Louisville Metro spokesman who also asked that her name not be used, was a bit more direct. “The bridge traffic is pretty awful,” she told us. “Oh my gosh, depending on what time of day, you can be on that (I-65) bridge for an hour. It’s 80 different kinds of awful.”


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RVIA Readies for 49th National RV Trade Show

October 3, 2011 by · Comments Off on RVIA Readies for 49th National RV Trade Show 

More than 8,500 RV dealers, warehouse distributors, accessory store owners, campground operators and exhibitors will gather in Louisville, Ky., for the 49th National RV Trade Show, scheduled for Nov. 29–Dec. 1 at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

According to a press release, the industry’s premier trade event will showcase the latest RV models and innovative products from 67 manufacturer and 230 supplier companies in exhibits exhibitors covering more than 730,000 square feet of exhibit space.

Outlook 2012 Kicks Off the Show

The National RV Trade Show will kick off with RVIA’s popular all-industry market expansion showcase, “Outlook 2012: Up & Away,” taking place from 7:30–9 a.m. in the KEC South Wing Mezzanine Level Ballroom. There is no charge for the event, which features a complimentary breakfast.

Hosted by RVIA Chairman Gregg Fore, the informative, entertaining program will feature RVIA President Richard Coon sharing his thoughts on key industry issues and detailing how RVIA is working to help the RV industry soar in “What’s Up!”

In “Away We Go!” Go RVing Co-Chairs Bob Olson and Tom Stinnett will team with RVIA Public Relations Committee Chairman B.J. Thompson and RVIA Vice President of Public Relations and Advertising James Ashurst for a joint multi-media presentation recounting 2011 accomplishments in the advertising and public relations arenas and reviewing new approaches for the upcoming year.

The program finale will feature the debut of Go RVing’s new “AWAY” national advertising campaign by Stan Richards, founder and creative principal of the Richards Group. He will also share marketing insights drawn from his long career as one of the advertising industry’s respected leaders.

Expanded Seminar Schedule

This year’s show will also offer an expanded seminar schedule providing valuable information on how to boost business, improve service, and increase profits. Business-focused sessions include:

• “Exploring Aftermarket Accessories – A New Revenue Source” with SEMA Director of Councils Zane Clark on Nov. 29, from 2:30–3:30 p.m.

• “How to Have Your Best Year in Service” with Jeff Cowan of Jeff Cowan’s Pro Talk Nov. 30, from 8–9 a.m.

• “Social Media 101” with Jared Hamilton, founder and CEO of, Nov. 30 from 11 a.m.–noon.

• “More Down Payments Equal More Deals Financed” with Randy Sobel, president of Sobel and Associates, Nov. 30, from 2:30–3:30 p.m.

• “New Ways to Increase Gross Profit and Close Educated Buyers” with Randy Sobel Dec. 1, from 8–9 a.m.

These seminars will take place in South Wing Conference Room C108. The cost for each session is $50 in advance or $60 on-site. For more information, contact Huyen Dang in RVIA’s Shows department at (703) 620-6003, ext. 305 or

There are also three informative technical seminars for RV dealers, service technicians and other technical service personnel taking place, including:

• “RV Weight Presentation and Demonstration” by Walter Cannon, executive director of the Recreation Vehicle Safety Education Foundation, and the “RV Doctor” Gary Bunzer, president of Bunzer Consulting, Nov. 30, from 8 a.m.–noon in the KEC West Hall. Cost is $50 in advance or $60 on-site for this session.

• “Career Ladder, Testing and Trouble Shooter Clinics Information” with RV Service Training Council Co-Chair Mel Adams, RVIA Vice President of Standards and Education Bruce Hopkins, and RVIA Director of Technical Information Sharonne Lee, Nov. 30, from 11 a.m.–noon in South Wing Conference Room C101. There is no charge for this session, which will focus on the new RV Service Technician Career Ladder, testing programs for certification, and the revised Trouble Shooter Clinic curriculum.

• “RV Body Repair” with Tony Yerman, president of TYL Consulting and author of The RV Damage Repair Estimator, on Thursday, Dec. 1, from 8 a.m.–noon in South Wing Conference Room C101. The cost for this session is $50 in advance and $60 on-site.

The National RV Trade Show offers attendees the opportunity to learn more about industry resources available to them. Attendees can learn more about the new “AWAY” advertising campaign to debut in early 2012 at the Go RVing booth.

For more information about RV technician education initiatives and certification, attendees can visit the RVIA Education booth.

RVDA/RVIA Certification Testing will also be offered at the show on Nov. 30, at 1:30 p.m. in South Wing Conference Room C101. The new Registered Technician, Certification and Specialty tests will be offered in written format. All persons planning to take the test must be pre-registered and have prerequisite test completed before taking the written test. For more details or to register, contact Isabel McGrath at (703) 591-7130 ext. 102 or Deadline to register is Nov. 16, 2011.

For more information about the National RV Trade Show, call RVIA’s Shows Department at (703) 620-6003, ext. 305.


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Louisville Prayer Breakfast Tabled Until 2010

October 20, 2009 by · Comments Off on Louisville Prayer Breakfast Tabled Until 2010 

The RVI Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee recently decided to suspend its prayer breakfast for 2009 at the 47th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., Dec.1-3, due to a concern for obtaining sufficient sponsor support during this recessionary period.

”We would have had to commit to a speaker several months ago when the economic outlook was not as positive as it is now,” said event coordinator Carl Pletcher. ”It was then we decided to take a one-year break from the usual schedule and not make that financial commitment at this time, but rather put our resources toward holding a quality event next year that will be consistent with our high standards.”

With the RV industries struggling to keep afloat, many businesses have not had the ability to give to charitable causes at their normal levels, including the RVI prayer breakfast, Pletcher said .

With the recovery on the horizon, long-time loyal sponsors will be in a better position to support the prayer breakfast next year, he said. It is anticipated that the event will again be held in conjunction with the annual Louisville Show in 2010.

Parties interested in sponsoring the prayer breakfast for next year can do so by contacting Pletcher at 574-522-4366 or sending donations to the RVI Leadership Prayer Breakfast, 56771 Wedgewood S., Elkhart, Ind., 46516.

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