The Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association’s (PRVCA) August board meeting turned into a celebration as the members commemorated 15 years as an independent association. Previously, PRVCA had been a sister association of the Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association (PHMA). In 1999, the two organizations parted ways.
“I would like to toast the great group of people who had the insight and confidence 15 years ago to make it happen,” Chairman Pat McClure said in a press release. “And of course, a thank you to Becky Lenington for her support and confidence in the board.”
Several board members, including McClure, Dan Saltzgiver, Ed Flick, John Zimmerman, John Roba, Brad Bryant, and John Martin, were on the first board of the newly independent association and still hold seats today.
In conjunction with the 15 year anniversary celebration, PRVCA also recognized Connie Williams of New Dimensions Advertising and Neil Beets of Penn State Exposition Services for their commitment to the association over the years. “Today we recognize two individuals for their excellence in service,” Lenington said. “Connie and Neil have worked with the association for over 25 years. It’s their continued service and dedication that helps make the association great.”
Along with a certificate and gift card, Williams and Beets received an engraved paver in PRVCA’s Memorial Garden reading “Outstanding Service 2014” followed by their names.
The Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA) is holding a monthly “RV Moments” photo/video contest.
According to a press release, contestants can enter by submitting a photo/video for the chance to win $100 gas card and a five-pound Hershey chocolate bar. Each month a new theme will be announced and a new winner will be crowned. The only stipulation is that the photo/video must feature either the exterior or interior of the RV.
The deadline to submit your photo/video for the first month’s contest is Jan. 31. The winner will be announced Feb. 7.
To enter a photo e-mail a .jpeg to firstname.lastname@example.org (max. file size 1MB). For video submissions, mail an mp4 file or a youtube link to email@example.com. Videos should be no longer than four minutes in length.
For more information or to view entries visit PRVCA’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/
Industry Days at America’s Largest RV Show, held Sept. 10–11 at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa., offers “something for every facet of the RV industry,” according to a news release.
The annual show, hosted by the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA), will feature a full roster of education clinics at affordable prices.
Scheduled events include:
• The opening day lineup includes an F&I Clinic with speaker Tim Spencer from Protective Asset Protection. This one-day training course focuses on the finance and insurance function in the RV dealership. Learn everything from the laws and regulations to creating a higher rate of customer satisfaction. Fee is $50 per person, which includes lunch.
• During a seminar offered on both Monday and Tuesday, Don Bary will explain how to get RV technicians certified without having to pay for costly hotels and travel expenses. The RV Technician Distance Learning Program allows students to study from the comfort of their home. Registration is free.
• Tuesday kicks off with an all-star morning at Chocolate World that includes a breakfast, inspirational message and “Meet and Greet” with former NFL running back Marcus Allen. Autographed footballs, mini-helmets and photos are available for purchase and benefits the PRVCA PAC fund. Allen will also share his secrets on how you too can become a champion. Fee is $25 per person, which includes breakfast.
• A service writer clinic, conducted by Chuck Marzahn, starts off a full education day at the Giant Center. The clinic will allow service writers, service managers and others a chance to look at the very basics of service writers and learn practical strategies to help their businesses. Fee is $50 per person, which includes lunch. Bonus: Earn 5 RVDA CEUs for attending this seminar.
• Bernie Jwaszewski will show how to navigate the sea of social networking. Learn how to make it work for your business with the help of Jwaszewski’s insight and experience. Registration is free. Bonus: Earn 1 CPO credit by attending this seminar.
• Ron Wheeler of Wheeler Advertising, which specializes in marketing for RV dealerships, will lead “How to Advertise in a Complex Marketplace.” Advertising in today’s world is a difficult job, especially with so many different choices. Wheeler will offer tips on understanding the world of digital, mobile social and traditional marketing. Fee is $50 per person. Bonus: Earn 3.5 CPO credits for attending this seminar.
To register for any of the events, visit www.largestRVshow.com, select Industry Info, then view the Show Invitation or call (888) 303.2887.
In conjunction with Pennsylvania’s RV and Camping Month in May, as proclaimed by Gov. Tom Corbett for the 22nd straight year, the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA) has kicked off its annual Open House Campaign.
“The goal of the Open House Campaign is to direct consumers to their local campgrounds and dealerships and expose them to the many benefits of RV ownership and the freedom that traveling by RV provides,” PRVCA Executive Vice President Rebecca Lenington said in a press release.
The statewide advertising campaign runs from May 1–13. More than 1,667 commercials on both television and radio will air with the addition of Google Adwords and email blasts to over 9,000 consumers. The PRVCA Open House television advertisements are comprised from Go RVing stock footage. Both the radio and television ads feature the “Traveling in my RV” jingle while promoting May as Pennsylvania RV and Camping month while encouraging consumers to visit an RV dealer or campground.
The commercials also direct consumers to the PRVCA website so they can find local dealerships and campgrounds and request the PRVCA membership directory, Explore Pennsylvania, which lists all members, and is loaded with travel destinations and attractions, and fun RVing facts.
Lenington said PRVCA is hoping RV and Camping Month “encourages consumers to reap the benefits of RVing and find their way to the dealerships and campgrounds of Pennsylvania.”
The next RV Technician Distance Learning Class at Northampton Community College, in partnership with the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA), is set to begin Feb. 21.
RV Heating Systems will run from Feb. 21 through March 27. Tuition for the class is $135.
Not only will technicians who are new to the industry get a thorough understanding of heating systems, experienced technicians can take the course as a refresher and earn credit hours toward RVIA/RVDA recertification, according to a PRVCA news release.
PRVCA is running a special offer for all employees of PRVCA members for the 2010-2011 semesters. Upon successful completion of a NCC distance learning course, students will receive a 50% reimbursement on tuition. For more information on the special offer, please contact the PRVCA office at (888) 303-2887. Not a member? Now is the time to join and take advantage of the incredible savings on technician training.
To learn more about the upcoming courses, please go to the PRVCA website at: www.PRVCA.org and click on “Training.” To register for the course, call Northampton Community College at (877) 543-0998.
The Pennsylvania RV and Campground Association (PRVCA) and Northampton Community College (NCC) are promoting their program to meet the needs of RV technicians who need recertification by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA).
PRVCA and NCC, along with Terry Cooper, a master certified technician and RV instructor, bring an Internet-based hybrid training program to take to new technicians to the industry as well enhance the skills of the current RV work force, according to a news release. Students looking to change careers can continue employment at their current job and complete the courses in their free time while already established RV technicians can gain recertification credit hours.
One thing that makes the program stand out is the communication between instructor and student. “It’s great because I have interaction with the instructor. If I have a question there is someone there to answer which you don’t get from watching a training video,” says Reichart’s Camping Center Certified Technician Tim Pope.
Even experienced techs are able to take something away from the courses. “In this business, you don’t do the same thing every day,” Pope says. “If you don’t work on something every day, it’s [the courses] are a great refresher.”
“Everything I’ve done so far has been very educational and informative,” says Mike Caler, Distance Learning student. Caler, a technician new to the RV industry, is able to take the information he learns from the online courses and apply them to his job at Reichart’s Camping Center in Hanover, Pa. “I’ve just started my career as an RV tech. There have been times where I am able to do something and other techs say ‘where did you learn that?’”
Details on cost, contact hours, start date and length of course:
- RV Plumbing Systems $165, (24); starts Jan. 18 and will run for five weeks.
- RV Heating Systems $135, (20); starts Feb. 21 and will run for five weeks.
- RV Water Heaters $125 (18); starts March 28 and will run for seven weeks.
With special PRVCA Member Offer – tuition will be half the listed price.
Special PRVCA Member Offer:
Employees of PRVCA members will receive a 50% reimbursement on tuition upon successful completion of NCC distance learning courses for the 2011 spring & summer semesters. For more information on the special offer, please contact the PRVCA office at (888) 303-2887.
To learn more about the upcoming courses, go to the PRVCA website at: www.PRVCA.org and click on “Training.” To register for the courses, contact Jackie Bare at NCC by e-mail at JBare@Northampton.edu or call (610) 861-5390.
The Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA) has released its 2011 “Explore Pennsylvania” guide. The directory and consumer magazine features 52 pages of RV and camping tips, according to a news release.
The publication spotlights 10 Pennsylvania destinations to explore with an RV, plus tips about tire care, green RVing and affordable RVing. Information about America’s largest RV show, held each fall in Hershey, Pa., is also included.
This guide contains a PRVCA membership directory connecting readers to campgrounds, dealers, suppliers, manufacturers and other services. The listings contain contact information and a brief description of available products and services. The dealerships and campgrounds are listed in five geographic regions for conveniently locating an RV dealer or campground. Manufacturers, services, suppliers and after market dealers are listed alphabetically by category. The guide also includes a schedule of attractions and events in each geographic area.
The magazine is available online by visiting prvca.org and then selecting “Explore PA Magazine.” To receive a free printed edition call the PRVCA office at (888) 303-2887.
The Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA) comes off its two “Industry Days” with strong expectations as the retail side of its 42nd Annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show show unfolds the remainder of the week in Hershey, Pa.
Gorgeous weather bathed the grounds of the Hersheyplex Monday and Tuesday and again today as gates opened at 9 a.m.
Show Chairman Dan Salzgiver, Reichart’s Camping Center, Hanover, Pa., was optimistic on the eve of today’s Public Days opening.
“In general we’re up over 40% in sales of the space. We’re up tremendously in suppliers’ space for this year. The move-in went very smoothly — little if no problems moving in this year. So we’re learning the facility — and the manufactures are learning the move-in process — much better. it’s all a matter of working together with them.”
Several years ago, the show, the largest in the East Coast, was held at the sprawling farm complex in nearby Harrisburg, and was called the Harrisburg Show.
A 40% pickup, he agrees, is yet another sign of the industry digging out of the recession because last year they were down around 49% from their best year ever.
“So now we’re up 40% over the 51% we had last year so we’re not where we’re going to be (in terms of regenerating the show). I don’t know that we’ll permit the show to get as large as what it was before. That’s up to the show committee. But I know that the dealers and the customers coming in like it the size it is right as this time because they can get around and see everything. We have approximately 1,000 units, 980-some units this year. Last year we had just over 600, so we had a big increase in units and there are more units squeezed into each space.”
Controlling the size instead of perpetually growing the show could be a real plus, contrary to popular thinking, where bigger is always better.
“Getting smaller last year was a blessing in the sense that our customers coming in — the dealer coming and looking during Industry Days, was able to get around and see everything much easier. We provided golf cart taxis the last several years (in Dealer Days) and folks really like that. On Retail Days (in 2009) I didn’t have a single customer tell me, ‘I didn’t get to see everything this year.’
“In other years, I had them tell me, ‘I couldn’t make up my mind, it’s too big, I couldn’t see everything’ so we look at it as a plus.”
Regarding square footage, the square footage during the best year ever was about 1.5 million square feet. So life here in Hershey continues to return to the new normal.
“Let’s put it this way: last year we (PRVCA) had to dip into our reserves. This year with the increased amount of space we were able to sell, we won’t have to to dip into any reserves this year. We still have to buy the same amount of space from Hershey every year, regardless of the size of our show.”
Curiously, PRVCA spent more money on advertising last year, their worst year in modern times in terms of space sales, and it paid off.
“We had over 34,000 retail customers come through the show last year, which was a record. We’re hoping to do that again this year. And sales last year were very good.”
PRVCA promotes its Public Days to a market stretching from the Mid-Atlantic states (Virginia, New York, Delaware and New Jersey) east to Ohio. This year they’ve shifted more dollars to Internet advertising vs. print, compared to previous years.
“We spent, retailwise, nearly $300,000 advertising the show. We’ve spent a lot of money to bring the people in.”
PRVCA also did a lot of e-mail blasts, both trade and retail, and continued to direct marketing dollars to Canada, because they have a strong Canadian following.
HGTV crews were in Hershey Tuesday and again today gathering footage for its popular series on new RV features. The show will be telecast next spring.
Those attending the 42nd Annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa., that kicks off with ”Trade Days” Monday (Sept. 13) and Tuesday will find a much larger show than last year.
With more than 1 million feet of indoor and outdoor space booked, the show will be 41% larger than last year, said Heather Leach, director of marketing and education for the sponsoring Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA).
”We are feeling pretty good about the way things are shaping up,” Leach told RVBUSINESS.com.
The gates open for consumers on Wednesday with the show completing its run on Sunday. The recovering economy has put the Hershey Show in good stead.
”Last year definitely was not our best year as far as exhibit space, but people came last year and bought RVs,” Leach said. ”We felt pretty good about that and we are optimistic about this year.”
Sixty-two manufacturers represented by 89 dealers will display approximately 1,000 towable and motorized RV at the show, which last year set a record for attendance with 32,033. Many of the manufacturers will be giving consumers their first look at 2011 models.
Included will be 11 recreational park model manufacturers who will display their cottage-like trailers, also known as park models, in a “Park Model Village.”
Advance dealer registration is running about the same as last year, and dealers wishing to attend can register on the spot, Leach noted. In 2009, 1,048 dealer representatives attended.
Marking the RV industry’s 100th anniversary, Al Hesselbart, historian for the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., will give lectures each day on the RV industry’s history in a display that will feature a camper mounted on a 1915 Model T Ford.
Again this year the Hershey Show will serve as a venue for Home & Garden TV (HGTV), which is returning to film its annual special “RV 2011” one of the cable network’s most-watched specials which will air next spring.
Presenters for dealer seminars on Monday and Tuesday include Barb Darkes of McNees, Wallace and Nurick, Don Bray of Northampton Community College and Bill Garpow, executive director of the Recreation Park Trailer Industry Association, consultant Gary Bunzer, sales trainer Grayson Schwepfinger, Robert Basha with Auction 123 and consultant Suzanne Mark.
On Tuesday NFL Hall of Fame member Mean Joe Greene will be present to sign autographed merchandise to raise money for PRVCA’s political action fund.
For consumers, RVer John Holod and Walter Cannon of the RV Safety and Education Foundation (RVSEF) will conduct seminars along with Mark.
Also present during the show will be the ”Centennial Charlie,” a stuffed bear that has been the RV Centennial mascot that toured the country earlier this year.
The Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA) continues to be pleased by the industry response to its 42nd Annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show, set for Sept., 13-19, in Hershey, Pa.
Show space requests at the May 4 space drawing were up 119% from last year and the current manufacturers’ count is at 53, reports Heather Leach, PRVCA marketing and education director.
Show staff hoped to sign up three additional manufacturer exhibitors soon, she said.
“We are definitely pleased with the sales this year,” she said. In addition, 90 industry suppliers have signed on for the show.
As of today (July 9), sold display space totaled 549,230 square feet, 22% larger than the 2009 show, she added. Space will be sold up until the show opening, as long as space is available.
This year’s show will include at least 31 recreational park trailers. This is down from the 37 at the 2009 show, but represents a near sell-out of the available space in the park trailer village, due to reconfiguration of the village, she explained.
The PRVCA is hoping for another good crowd at this year’s show. Last year, the show drew a record attendance of more than 33,000 during Public Days and another 2,048 during Trade Days.
“We hope for a similar attendance,” she said. “We got a good response from last year’s show and our marketing plan is similar.”
The show set an opening day record of 5,959 last year. Opening day is also senior day which gives a “buy one, get one free admisison” for senior citizens.
For a current list of the exhibitors, click here.
For more show information, visit www.prvca.org.