The 37th Annual Flint Camper & RV Show, sponsored by the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles & Campgrounds (MARVAC), reported a 24% increase in attendance despite continued winter weather. According to a press release, the show ran March 13-16 at the Perani Arena and Events Center in Flint.
Bill Sheffer, show director for MARVAC commented, “What we’re seeing in the industry across the country is that the buyers of our RVs were typically the Baby Boomers, in their 50s and early 60s – people who had discretionary dollars to buy a recreation vehicle. But now we’re seeing that age fall back into the 40s and 50s, where people have more established jobs and are more comfortable with the economy.”
He added, “They’re more comfortable with their home situation. We’re seeing a younger group of people now looking at recreation vehicles. We’ve had a double-digit increase in sales in Michigan over the last three years. We came out of the recession.”
RV wholesale shipments tracked by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reached 321,127 units in 2013, a gain of 12.4% over the previous year. This was nearly twice the annual total of 2009 and marked the fourth consecutive annual increase since the end of the last recession for the RV industry. According to the Michigan Secretary of State office, 329,200 recreation vehicles are registered in the state of Michigan.
MARVAC said dealers reported steady traffic and sales at the event. Tom Boynton, store manager of Trade Winds RV Center in Clio, noted, “Excellent show, traffic was very good, a high percentage of our sales were towable and fifth-wheel RVs. We doubled our sales from last year.”
MARVAC also sponsors shows in Novi, Battle Creek and Traverse City. For information on these shows, visit www.marvac.org.
Thousands of people came out to Perani Area and Event Center in Flint from March 13-16 for the 37th Annual MARVAC Flint Camper and RV Show.
As reported by the Flint Journal, more than 85 units were on display including folding campers, motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth-wheel travel trailers, prices ranging from $4,000 to $120,000. Booths featuring parts and accessories and items such as custom made mattresses and bug spray were some of the items on display.
In addition, the RV show, sponsored by the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC), hosted a plethora of campground representatives.
“One of the most important parts of this is that we have campground owners here who are not yet open for the season. They won’t be for another six weeks or so,” said Bill Sheffer, show director on Sunday (March 16).
“This gives an opportunity for people to come in and look at what the campgrounds have to offer—how many sites, do they have swimming,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for people to make reservations if they want with these campgrounds. They can get an idea of what they have to offer.”
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The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) is sponsoring the 37th Annual Flint Camper & RV Show, March 13-16,at the Perani Arena & Event Center.
According to a press release, over 85 new recreation vehicles will be on display including folding campers, motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth-wheel travel trailers, ranging in price from $4,000 to $120,000. Booths featuring parts and accessories, campground information, on-site RV financing and RV rentals will also be on hand.
The new 2014 RV & Campsite, a guide to camping in Michigan, will be available and free to visitors. Coupons for $1-off admission are available at www.marvac.org, area Big Boy restaurants and VG’s Grocery locations. Consumers can also register to win free tickets to the show at www.marvac.org. Show attendees can enter to win event tickets and camping packages for 2014 summer MIS events from the Michigan International Speedway.
The 37th Annual MARVAC Flint Camper & RV Show is open weekdays 2-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The cost for adult admission (ages 13 and up) is $7; senior admission (ages 55 and over) is $6; and children 12 and under get in free. Parking is free!
Editor’s Note: The following story, written by Rick Kessler for RVBusiness, offers a look at the recently completed Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) show in Novi. Kessler is managing editor for Heritage Media, a chain of 11 newspapers in southeast Michigan, and author of the Gr8LakesCamper blog.
Howell, Mich., residents Glenn and Becky Pietila stepped down out of a Rockwood Roo, an affordable Forest River towable, and turned to give the hybrid camper an extra long second look. The young couple, spending their afternoon at the 48th Annual Detroit Camper & RV Show, were definitely interested in the Roo.
“We have a popup now and we’re ready to upgrade,” said Glenn.
“Ours is pretty old so we’re looking for something a little more convenient, a little more comfortable and a little more reliable,” agreed Becky, who, with four kids ranging in age from 3 months to 5 years old, especially favored the towable RV’s three foldout beds and generally spacious layout.
So, whether the Pietilas buy their dream trailer or not, the only conclusion one could draw from the traffic and sales activity at the Feb. 5-9 Detroit Camper & RV Show in the Suburban Financial Showplace in Novi — and at other retail shows around the country right now — is that the RV industry’s rebound is continuing in early 2014.
More than 20,000 people braved two snow storms to attend the five-day show in suburban Detroit, a significant venue for the industry’s annual retail show tour located about 30 minutes northwest of the Motor City. And while the weather kept the sponsoring Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC), from breaking last year’s records, participating dealers generally seemed pleased.
“It was the most we ever sold at the February show, and it was all products from low-end travel trailers all the way up to our high-end diesel pushers,” said Larry Andree, president of A&S RV Center in Auburn Hills, Mich. “The buyers were across all ranges, too, from young people looking to get their first camper to older people looking to upgrade. It was a great crowd and great attitude.”
Vicky Rokas of Vicar’s Trailer Sales in Taylor, Mich. said her family’s RV dealership also enjoyed record sales during the show and across all product line, too.
“You could tell the people had confidence in the economy again,” she said. “We had a lot of cash buyers and we had a lot of nice trade-ins come in, so obviously people held on to their RVs for an extra year or two and are now ready to upgrade.”
Steve Gubics of National RV Detroit, located in Belleville, Mich. said the Detroit RV show was “the best ever” for his dealership.
“The crowds were great; everybody was looking to move into a new RV,” Gubics said.
All of this, of course, is good news not only for participating dealers but for dealers nationwide, and the RV industry as a whole.
As recently reported, RV wholesale shipments finished 2013 on a four-year high note with a total of 321,127 units shipped, a gain of 12.4% over the 2012 year-end total of 285,749 units, according to the Recreation Vehicle industry Association’s (RVIA) December survey of RV manufacturers.
This was nearly twice the annual total of 2009 (165,700 units) and marked the fourth consecutive annual increase since the end of the last recession for the RV industry.
Bill Sheffer, director of MARVAC, is predicting a terrific year for both RVers and RV dealerships.
“Dealers who participated in this year’s show noted a strong enthusiasm regarding the economy and the high desire among shoppers to buy the latest in RV offerings,” he said, adding nearly 10,000 visitors on the Saturday of the show. “All indications are that dealers will be busy this spring and campgrounds will be full this summer.”
So, given this evidence, is it safe to say the RV industry is back?
“That’s definitely the case,” said Gubics. “People have gotten over their fear of the economy. And people are realizing life goes on; they can’t postpone things for so long. They’re ready to buy the RV of their dreams. People always say they’ve been wanting to do this so we’re going to do it.”
Andree of A&S RV Center agreed, saying last year was his dealership’s “best year in terms of units sold. In dollar sales, it was our second best year ever because last year we sold more towables than motorized RVs.”
Steve Rochette, a “fun consultant” for Westland Camping Center in Westland, who also reported a strong show in the Detroit RV show, said in the last couple of years, people have started buying RVs again, and not always fitting into the buyer category stereotypes.
“Basically, it’s run the gamut — we’ve had older folks buying pop-ups because they’re looking to simplify to younger families skipping right ahead to the big bunkhouses,” Rochette said.
The 48th Annual Detroit Camper & RV Show will roll out Feb. 5-8 in Novi at the Suburban Collection Showplace, featuring more than 275 units and 50 manufacturer brands.
Sponsored by the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC), the show will feature all types of new 2014 recreation vehicles, along with an array of display booths offering parts and accessories, campground information, on-site RV financing and RV rentals.
In addition, attendees can enter to win event tickets and camping packages for 2014 summer Michigan International Speedway events while also picking up the new “2014 RV & Campsite” magazine. This guide to camping and RV dealers in Michigan now includes coupons.
For more information, call (517) 349-8881 or visit marvac.org.
The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) continues to fine tune plans for an independent finance arm to benefit members, according to a report in the organization’s newsletter Industry Insights.
“The number one call we’ve been receiving at the association office for the last 2 1/2 years from our members has been that they need help in securing financing for their business,” said Executive Director Tim DeWitt while addressing the 180 members in attendance at MARVAC’s 72nd Annual Meeting in October.
The No. 1 agenda item for the MARVAC board for the last six months has been exploring options to help the membership with the financing dilemma in Michigan. Once completed, the executive board will review the final Phase II report in early 2014.
The following offers an overview of the possible finance program along with responses to frequently asked questions from membership.
The SFO Concept
The MMH & RVCA Specialty Finance Organization was initiated to directly address the liquidity and capital challenges facing members. One of the key ways to address these challenges is to aggregate the demand of the members and represent the member needs in a unified fashion to the capital markets.
By aggregating demand through one entity, the risk to the capital providers and servicers is reduced by providing industry focused underwriting standards with the opportunity of lending to a larger group with similar needs to minimize investment risk. In return, the capital providers will be attracted by more opportunity but will now have to compete against other sources for each member opportunity.
By participating in MMH & RVCA Specialty Finance Organization (SFO) programs, the association members would benefit in the following ways over time:
• More choices of capital sources to the Association members.
• MARVAC will profit from aggregating its members which helps support the financial stability of the Association.
• Most competitive cost of capital.
• Saves time by working with a single, association-sponsored and dedicated financial resource for all debt and equity requirements.
MMH & RVCA Frequently Asked Questions
Are you operating outside the association mission statement?
The association’s mission is to serve the needs of the members and the SFO is designed to support this belief. Further, the legal counsel of the association has fully participated in all stages of the development of the SFO and has insured the SFO meets the legal and operational guidelines of the association and its members.
Will financing be available outside of Michigan with my other investments? Different Industries? Will additional memberships be required?
The SFO is designed to provide financing to members overall. If the member requires or desires to have its assets outside the state refinanced, the SFO is designed to meet that need through its business and real estate capital programs. However, the consumer lending program will require the SFO to obtain state specific licenses and establish an MLO in that state to provide direct to consumer loans.
Will the SFO include consumer lending? If yes, is SFO going to become licensed MLO and will it solely operate in Michigan?
Yes, the SFO will provide consumer lending and disposition of existing and new consumer paper. The SFO will become an MLO in each state it provides consumer lending and relieve the individual member from that requirement and related costs/risks. There will be loan application fees which can be recovered by the consumer in the loan itself.
The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) is sponsoring the 24th Annual Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show, Oct. 2-6 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
The News-Herald, Southgate, reported that more than 200 new recreation vehicles will be on display including folding campers, motorhomes, travel trailers, truck campers and fifth-wheel trailers. There will also be plenty of exhibitor booths featuring parts and accessories, campground information, onsite RV financing and RV rentals.
“People can come and look at some of the 2014 models we’ll have, but we’ll also be bringing 2013 and even some 2012 models that we’ll be looking to make a deal on,” said Sandy Vicars of Vicars Trailer Sales in Taylor. “It’s the end of the year and we don’t want to have to pay taxes on these models, so we’ll just be blowing them out the door.”
In addition to Vicars Trailer Sales, Lloyd Bridges Traveland of Chelsea will be among the dozens of RV dealers at the show.
“The RV show is great because it allows the customer to see everything under one roof,” said Harold Vandervoort, who’s been at Lloyd Bridges Traveland for 30 years. “And it’s great for dealers because we look to clean up our existing inventory to make room for the new inventory coming in.”
Vicars said the fall show typically is catered toward motorhome and fifth-wheel RVers, especially those looking to head south for the winter. But that doesn’t mean people in the market for travel trailers, hybrids and folding campers won’t have their share of RVs to look at.
“We’ll have a ton of popups, all at significant discounts,” Vicars said. “People can expect about $1,000 to $1,500 off. The savings will be remarkable.”
At the show, people can enter to win event tickets and camping packages from Michigan International Speedway. Winning package includes tickets and camping to an MIS event of your choice.
The 24th Annual Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show is open 2-9 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) reported a strong start to the 2013 RV show season, seeing growing attendance at events across the state. According to a press release, the positive outlook for the industry is still evident as RV registrations and campground reservations show continued improvement.
A successful Memorial Day weekend kicked off the camping season, offering a jump start for the industry heading into the summer months. Strong consumer confidence was also reflected in the latest reports from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) indicating an 11% rise in wholesale shipments during the first quarter and a 19% increase in April. Michigan was listed third in the nation with 10,316 new RV registrations in 2012 behind Texas and California, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.
Gary Becker, owner of Indigo Bluffs RV Resort in Empire, Mich., is encouraged for the upcoming summer months, noting, “We have record seasonal growth and rentals for our June-September season.”
MARVAC said that Michigan campers and RVers, conscious of budgeting money and time, will find that camping is a great way to get the most out of a vacation. MARVAC campgrounds across the state provide members with weekend activities such as swimming, bike trails, fishing and crafting.
For more information on MARVAC campgrounds visit www.marvac.org.
The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) is a statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging growth in the recreation vehicle and private campground industries while contributing to the quality of Michigan tourism. For more information, visit MARVAC’s website, www.marvac.org. MARVAC, 2222 Association Drive, Okemos, Mich. 48864-5978; 517.349.8881.
The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) is sponsoring the 36th Annual Flint Camper & RV Show, slated for March 14-17 at the Perani Arena & Event Center.
Over 90 new recreation vehicles will be on display, along with booths featuring parts and accessories, campground information, on-site RV financing and RV rentals.
The new 2013 RV & Campsite, a guide to camping in Michigan, will also be available and free to visitors.
The show is open weekdays 2-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The cost for adult admission (ages 13 and up) is $7; senior admission (ages 55 and over) is $6; and children 12 and under get in free.
For more information call (517) 349-8881 or visit www.marvac.org.
With temperatures hovering near “You’ve got to be kidding me,” Michigan residents’ thoughts this time of year often fast forward to summer. And for many, those lazy daydreams of summer usually involve camping and RVing.
The Macomb Daily reported that the timing of winter RV shows — including the upcoming 47th annual Detroit Camper & RV Show — couldn’t be better.
The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) is sponsoring the 47th annual show Feb. 6-10 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. All types of new 2013 recreation vehicles including more than 275 units and 50 brands, will be displayed. Folding campers, motorhomes, travel trailers, truck campers, fifth wheel travel trailers and toy haulers are among the models visitors will see.
“There’s nothing like going to an RV show to cure your cabin fever,” MARVAC Executive Director Bill Sheffer said. “Where else can you get the opportunity to walk around and see, in the case of the Detroit show, 275 new RVs? You’re not just looking at picture of them on the Internet.
“An RV show is also the place to talk to campground owners. We’re finding more and more people are literally making their camping reservations with campgrounds owners who have a booth at the show.”
In addition to the Detroit-area show, MARVAC will host RV exhibitions in Battle Creek (March 7-10 at Kellogg Arena), Flint (March 14-17 at the Perani Arena & Event Center) and Traverse City (March 22-24 at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center). The 24th annual Detroit Fall Camper & RV Show is Oct. 2-6, also at the Suburban Collection Showplace.