As a member benefit, the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA) is running a special offer for all employees of PRVCA members for Distance Learning Training for the 2011-2012 semesters.
According to a press release, upon successful completion of a Northampton Community College (NCC) distance learning course, students will be eligible for a 50% reimbursement on tuition. Students will receive a certificate of completion from NCC and can fax a copy of the certificate to the PRVCA office (717-303-0297). A check for 50% of the tuition will be sent to the employee.
The next RV Technician Distance Learning courses at Northampton Community College, in partnership with PRVCA, are set to begin Nov. 7. Those who missed the RV Generators course in September will have another opportunity to register for the class.
RV Generators will run from Nov. 7 through Jan. 15. This course provides the students a detailed look into generator sizing, installation, troubleshooting, repair and maintenance. Completion of the course can earn credit hours toward RVIA/RVDA recertification. The course costs $325 (Only $162.50 after reimbursement).
RV Towing Systems is also set to begin Nov. 7 and run through Dec. 8. All elements of RV towing are included in this course, including different towing configurations, electric trailer brakes, along with repair and maintenance. Hitch design and installation techniques are presented as well as all associated electrical wiring between tow vehicle and trailer. Safety elements are also stressed including weight data and all associated terminology. The tuition for this course is $190 (Only $95 after reimbursement).
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 1-877-543-0998.
The recently completed Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey posted record attendance with a turnout of 36,410 people for the Retail Days alone, according to a press release.
Event organizers reported that the Sept. 12-18 event, billed as America’s Largest RV Show, saw a 4% increase in attendance from 2010 and set an all-time record. The show encompassed over 1.3 million square feet and had over 1,050 new units on display – an increase of 6% compared to last year. There were 165 booth vendors in attendance, representing a 15% increase over 2010, while manufacturer square footage increased by 5%.
This year’s show battled national media attention as flooding hit the area the week prior to opening. “We received hundreds of phone calls and e-mails asking if the show was still opening,” said Rebecca Lenington, executive vice president of the host Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA). “Thanks to the PRVCA staff and the understanding and the cooperation of our exhibitors, set-up of the show went as scheduled and we opened on time without having to make any changes to the show’s program.”
Industry Days were held the first two days of the event allowing dealers one-on-one time with manufacturers and the opportunity to see the debut of the 2012 products. “There’s a lot of value in Hershey’s Industry Days,” said Dan Saltzgiver, owner of Reicharts RV and Camping Center and show chairman. “We send staff to the show both days so that everyone has a chance to see the new product and get a chance to talk with manufacturer representatives and suppliers.”
The educational events were a popular draw with eight featured industry experts. Keynote speakers Randy Sobel and Scott McKain focused on operating in today’s economy, allowing attendees to walk away with some new approaches to their businesses.
PRVCA said that Retail Days attracted consumers who were ready to shop, representing a good sign for the industry as the show is generally regarded as a bellwether for the coming year. Comments included:
• “Consumer attitudes were positive and it looks like we’ll bypass our 2010 sales,” Nick Palm of Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. said. “We had an excellent show. (Owner) Bob Tiffin attended all retail days and was impressed with PRVCA’s management and consumers’ attitudes.”
• “PRVCA did a phenomenal job,” said Chris Colton, owner of Colton RV. “Sales have exceeded last year’s sales and we’ve sold more gas products than in the past. It was a good show and Mother Nature was on our side this week.”
• “We are very happy with how the show has been,” offered Gene Ulrich, sales manager of Stoltzfus RV of West Chester. “As of Saturday night, we surpassed any sales we’ve ever done.”
• “The show finished well for us and we’re pleased,” Don Laird, president of Lime Lake RV said. “A lot of people are really getting into the green phenomenon and that’s been a real plus for us.”
• “It was very encouraging to see such a positive consumer attitude,” said Jeff Kline, owner of Gayle Kline RV. “Sales are good.”
Supplier booth vendors also experienced good sales. “For a product debut, it was everything and more,” noted Drew Schiller, president and inventor of Bag Rack. “I received a lot of validation for the product and signed six distributors during Industry Days.”
The show also provided hourly seminars for both new and experienced RVers. “I get a lot of attendees in my seminars who have yet to purchase an RV,” Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, said. “They find value in being able to apply what we discuss in the seminars to make a better informed decision when they buy. And they know the Hershey Show is THE place to get a good deal on a brand new RV.
“Those who already have a coach, love, not only to look at the new models, but they glean value from the great educational topics presented at the show. I’m guessing everyone walks away with something; a new recreation vehicle, or a new product, or valuable information about maintaining their recreational investment. Everyone wins.”
The universal appeal of RVing, as well as the ability to shop and compare 56 manufacturers at one place, continues to attract thousands of people to Hershey. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the success of the 2011 Show,” Lenington stated. “We are in planning mode for next year’s show to make it even better.”
The 2012 PA RV & Camping Show will be held on September 10–16. For more information, visit www.largestRVshow.com.
Check out another round of new product that was on display during last week’s Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey. The event is considered a bellwether for the industry and host PRVCA reported steady traffic and sales.
Overcoming media reports of widespread flooding, the 43rd Annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey saw steady traffic as the public days opened on Wednesday (Sept. 14) while event organizers reported that today’s gate was on track for an even stronger showing. The event is set to run through Sunday at the expansive GIANT Center.
“The first two days we had a total of about 8,500 people,” Becky Lenington, executive vice president for the host Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA), told RVBUSINESS.com late this morning. “We were fighting the national media which was reporting that we were under water. But it seems that word has gotten out that everything is OK. We have really seen a strong turnout this morning and it looks like we’re going to compensate for the past two days.”
Lenington noted that with some of the surrounding areas experiencing water problems, the GIANT Center had increased overnight parking at the facility to help accommodate visitors.
A shift in the weather may also have accounted for the uptick in attendees. “We saw some rain on Wednesday and Thursday, but today the sun is shining and it looks like the rain will stay away for the rest of the show,” said Lenington.
The Hershey Show, long touted as the industry’s largest consumer show, is regarded as a bellwether for the industry as manufacturers and dealers use it as a platform to introduce new product.
“We have over 1,050 brand new RVs on display for individuals to purchase,” said Heather Leach, marketing and education director for PRVCA. “There have already been some sales and a lot of the purchases were motorhomes.”
Leach reported that the vendor booth space was sold out with over 218 companies represented on site. “We have the vendors set up throughout the GIANT Center, including the concourse area and the lower level. All of the RVs are set up outside on the parking lot.”
There are also hourly seminars each day, beginning at 10 a.m. and running until 7 p.m., that have been well attended, according to Leach.
“We’re very pleased,” she said, “and with good weather predicted for here on out we’re looking for another great show.”
The Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show in Hershey, Pa., will open as scheduled at 9 a.m. EST today (Sept. 12) for the first of two Industry Days.
Undeterred by torrential rainfall from Tropical Storm Lee, which inundated portions of central Pennsylvania on Sept. 7, show sponsors continued to move forward last week and over the weekend to get the 1,000 RVs on site for this morning’s opening.
“We were never hit by the high water,” stressed Becky Lennington, executive director of the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA), told Woodalls Campground Management. But she concedes “it was tough, sitting in last week’s rain,” and not knowing how it might affect the event, touted as the nation’s largest retail RV show.
Lennington said the only units that did not make it on-site were some of the 12-foot-wide park models, which were restricted by area road closings. The state of emergency has since been lifted and all major arterial roads are now open, she added, noting, “Half of them made it in, the rest will come in today.”
The weather forecast today is a good one with temperatures in the 80s and dry. “RV folks are tough. It’s another one for the books,” Lenningyon said.
Sponsors are still hoping that media reports of the bad weather will not stunt the expected crowd of 35,000 that is projected to attend the show’s Public Days, which begin Wednesday and run into the weekend. Like the rain, show advertising saturated outlets in the East, from which the show draws its major attendance. The show website also states in bold print: “The local flooding has had NO impact on the Show.” HGTV is also still scheduled to film its annual look at RVs during this event.
From a distance, few vestiges of one of central Pennsylvania’s worst flooding episodes remain, neighborhood upon neighborhood having returned to normalcy by weekend’s end, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported. The Susquehanna River, which crested at a 25.17 feet Friday, had by Sunday night dropped to 15 feet and was to drop below 11 feet by midweek.
As of Sunday, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency was listing 13 deaths as possibly storm-related: three in Lancaster County, two each in Dauphin, Bradford and Lebanon counties, and one each in Chester, Luzerne, York and Philadelphia counties.
Gulf Stream Coach Inc.’s innovative 408TBS Innsbruck travel trailer will be prominently displayed in the Stoltzfus RV space (#513) during the Sept. 12-18 Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey.
According to a press release, the floorplan features eight-foot interior ceilings, three generous slideouts, 1 1/2 half baths and residential refrigerator and furniture. The release states “the 408TBS is a breakthrough in value and design that captures all the fun and adventure of camping in a lodge-style trailer that’s spacious, comfortable and impeccably crafted.”
“It’s no wonder Stoltzfus RV chose the 408TBS to anchor the center aisle of their display,” said Randy Baskerville, national sales manager for Innsbruck. “It’s a top-selling floorplan that never fails to impress retail customers. Mom and Dad love the huge Master Suite; kids love their own bedroom, half bath and entertainment center; and the whole family loves the generous “Great Room” main living area, with its double-width slideout and full-scale family-friendly kitchen.”
Gulf Stream will also be showing new products and floorplans at its own have display space (#513) at the Hershey show. For more information on the Innsbruck brand, visit www.gulfstreamrvtrailers.com or contact Randy Baskerville, national sales manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show, set to run Sept. 12-18 in Hershey, Pa., recently announced its 2011 sponsors.
According to the Pennsylvania Recreational Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA), hosts for the annual event, the sponsors “add much value to the show, and the PA RV and Camping Show would like to thank them for their support.”
The 2011 sponsors include the following:
• Azdel Inc: Shuttle and Golf Cart Sponsor
• Cruiser RV: Golf Cart Sponsor
• DRV Luxury Suites: Golf Cart Sponsor
• Fulton Bank: Jim Kelly Meet and Greet footballs Sponsor
• Progressive Insurance: Champions Club, Cyber Cafe
• Reicharts Camping Center: Fold Down Camper Giveaway
• Rockwood RV by Forest River: Fold Down Camper Giveaway
• RVTraderOnline.com: Program, Video Board and Golf Cart Sponsor
• Sweet Life Realty: Red Carpet Gift Item
• WGAL: Fold down Camper Giveaway
The Pennsylvania RV and Camping Education Foundation will also be acknowledging their sponsors at the show’s Annual Red Carpet Luncheon. The Education Foundation supports the RV Technician Distance Learning Program, RV Technician Apprenticeship Program and scholarships for the Distance Learning Program and Campground Management Program. Sponsors include:
• Keller Marine and RV: Bronze Sponsor
• RVIA: Silver Sponsor
• Stag Parkway: Silver Sponsor
For more information on the PA RV and Camping Show, America’s Largest RV Show, visit www.largestRVshow.com.
Organizers for the upcoming 43rd Annual PA RV & Camping Show at the GIANT Center in Hershey are reporting that block space sales have risen above 2010 totals and booth space sales have exceeded the 2010 show by 21%.
According to a press release, one of the keys is that this year’s event is offering more products to view. Industry Days are scheduled for Sept. 12-13 with Public Days set to run Sept. 14-18.
The Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA), hosts of the annual gathering also reported that HGTV will be returning to film RV 2012. The show will premier on New Year’s Day and feature the latest RV technology and accessories.
Some of the activities scheduled include:
• A slate of timely and affordable educational seminars ($20 for the entire education package). The education program has seminars is designed to help businesses grow and move forward in today’s economy. Many of the seminars also contain continuing education credits for dealers and campgrounds alike.
• Terry Cooper of the Mobile RV Academy will discuss how to get technicians trained without leaving the dealership. Walter Cannon from the RV Safety and Education Foundation (RVSEF) will offer a better understanding of how to match trucks to trailers and learn about weight and tire safety. Learn about the “Attitude of Troubleshooting” and “Packaging the Service Department” with RV Doctor Gary Bunzer.
• Recreation Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) President Bill Garpow will discuss how park trailers can fatten a campground’s bottom line. Grayson Schwepfinger will hold a seminar on how to make more sales by gaining trust from your customer and Bernie Jwaszewski offers tips on how social networking can help your business.
This year’s show features luncheons that will prove valuable to every aspect of the RV industry. Randy Sobel takes the stage on Monday with “Hiring Top Performers.” Tuesday’s luncheon features Scott McKain, who will provide insight on how to make a business stand out in a crowd.
There will also be an opportunity to meet football NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, formerly with the Buffalo Bills. Autographed footballs, photos and mini-helmets will be available for purchase.
An Industry Party is planned for Sept. 12, located at the HersheyPark with favorite thrilling rides, hors d’oeuvres, cold beer and wine and music by Copper Sky.
For more information, visit www.largestRVshow.com or call 888-303-2887.
The next RV technician distance learning class at Northampton Community College, in partnership with the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA), is set to start Aug. 22.
According to a press release, the RV ranges and cooktops class will run from Aug. 22 through Sept. 18. Tuition for the class is $125.
The course will provide a thorough understanding of ranges and cooktops for technicians new to the industry as well as experienced technicians. During this course the RV range will be broken down into its two main components, the stove and oven. Thermostat operation as well as flame structure is analyzed and studied. As with all LP appliances, safety precautions will continually be emphasized.
The importance of air to fuel ratios, applicable to all LP appliances, will be identified and exemplified during this course. Students can also earn credit hours toward RVIA/RVDA recertification.
PRVCA is running a special offer for all employees of PRVCA members for the 2011-2012 semesters. Upon successful completion of an NCC distance learning course, students will receive a 50% reimbursement on tuition. For more information on the special offer, call the PRVCA office at 888-303-2887. PRVCA said it’s also a good time for nonmembers to join and take advantage of the savings on technician training.
To learn more about the upcoming courses, visit www.PRVCA.org and click on “Training.” To register for the course, call Northampton Community College at 877-543-0998.
Exciting things are happening in Hershey, Pa., as the 43rd Annual Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show prepares to roll into the “Sweetest Place on Earth,” according to a news release.
This year’s show, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA) is scheduled for Sept. 12-18 with Industry Days on Sept. 12-13 and Public Days Sept. 14-18.
“Block space sales have risen above 2010 totals, and booth space sales have exceeded the 2010 show by a whopping 21% giving the No. 1 reason to attend the show – more product to view. And while there may be more product, there are no lines which allows you to spend quality time with your manufacturer representative – one of Hershey’s best kept secrets,” the release stated.
Show sponsors announced that HGTV will be returning to film “RV 2012.” The show will premier on New Year’s Day and feature the latest RV technology and accessories.
The show also offers a valuable education lineup. Offering inclusive, timely and affordable educational seminars ($20 for the entire education package), the education program has seminars that will help businesses grow and move forward in today’s economy. Many of the seminars also contain continuing education credits for dealers and campgrounds alike.
* Start your week off with Terry Cooper as he discusses how to get RV technicians training without leaving your dealership. Walter Cannon from the RV Safety and Education Foundation will be on the grounds to provide better understanding of how to match trucks to trailers and learn about weight and tire safety. Learn about the “Attitude of Troubleshooting and Packaging the Service Department” with “RV Doctor” Gary Bunzer.
* Bill Garpow from he Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) will discuss how park trailers can fatten your bottom line.
Other speakers include Grayson Schwepfinger, speaking on how to make more sales by gaining trust from your customer, and Bernie Jwaszewski providing tips on how social networking can help your business.
This year’s show features luncheons that will prove valuable to every aspect of the RV industry:
* Randy Sobel takes the stage on Monday with “Hiring Top Performers.” Learn how to re-build your business with a better foundation.
* Tuesday’s luncheon features Scott McKain who will give you insight on how to make your company stand out in a crowd. Registration for these events include lunch.
* After Scott’s message, don’t miss your chance to meet football hall of fame quarterback Jim Kelly. Autographed footballs, photos and mini-helmets will be available for purchase.
The free Industry Party held Sept. 12 will be at the park with thrilling rides, hors d’oeuvres, cold beer and wine, and music by Copper Sky. The event ends at 6 p.m. giving attendees more time to spend networking after the show or relaxing in Chocolatetown, USA.
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 May 23.
RV Air Conditioners (BETA 6015) will run from May 23 through June 26. Tuition for the class is $325. RV Absorption Refrigerators (BETA 6016) will begin July 11 and run through August 14. The tuition is $270.
Not only will technicians who are new to the industry get a thorough understanding of air conditioner and absorption refrigerators, experienced technicians can take the course as a refresher and earn credit hours toward RVIA/RVDA recertification.
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, contact the PRVCA office at 888.303.2887.
To learn more about the upcoming courses, visit www.PRVCA.org and click on “Training.” To register for the course, call Northampton Community College at 877.543.0998.
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 Campground Association (PRVCA) and Northampton Community College (NCC) have partnered with Terry Cooper, a master certified technician and RV instructor, to provide an Internet-based hybrid training program to bring new technicians to the industry as well enhance the skills of the current RV workforce.
“This is the best of both worlds,” Cooper, the program instructor, stated in a news release. “The student can be anywhere in the country and they can access the RV program with their computer to gain new knowledge, then they apply this knowledge to develop their hands on skills with an approved mentor at a RV dealership or repair facility.”
The next class, Propane Systems, will start on Oct. 25 and will run for five weeks. This class will have 28 contact hours that can be applied to the RVIA/RVDA (Recreation Vehicle Industry Association/Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association) recertification for current technicians. Cost is $190.
The Electrical Systems class will start on Nov. 29 and will run for seven weeks. This class is worth 56 contact hours toward the RVIA/RVDA recertification process. Cost is $375.
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, 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 email at JBare@Northampton.edu or call (610)861-5390.
”RV Buddies” (www.rvbuddiesonline.com) plans to telecast 16 segments from the Pennsylvania RV and Campground Show that ended Sunday (Sept. 26) in Hershey, Pa., that featured RVs from over 55 manufacturers, many showing their 2010 lineup, along with a host of aftermarket products and accessories.
”RV Buddies” will feature Open Range Residential, Born Free 22 Rear Kitchen, Carriage Cameo, Winnebago Via, Winnebago Tour, Four Winds Serrano, Tiffin RED, Keystone Fuzion, Forest River XLR, Newmar Canyon Star toy hauler and the Galileo travel trailer.
Besides coach reviews, aftermarket products and accessories, a number of industry veterans will be featured, including “The RV Doctor,” Gary Bunzer, and RV Adventures’ John Holod.
Additionally ”RV Buddies” shot several spots featuring the local flavor of the community – that flavor being chocolate. “Robert and Elise had a lot of fun with those and may have gained a few pounds while filming them,” said Producer Mark Summers, referring to show co-hosts Robert Wittenberg and Elise Baughman’s tours of various local chocolate-themed attractions.
The sponsoring Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA) (www.prvca.com) reported that over 31,000 attended what was billed as “Americas Largest RV Show.” Local network news covering the show reported: “If the RV Industry is any indicator of the economy, the recession is over.”
“I can believe it.” said Summers. “There were times when it was very crowded and it was hard for us to film a review due to the amount of people that were exploring the coaches. In fact, one time we had to come back and finish a review later because a dealer was busy closing a deal with a happy customer.”
Summers termed the visit to the show as a ‘’great success.’’ ”As this was our first live blogcast, we’ve received a lot of comments about how much people really enjoyed getting a live look at what was going on around the show,’’ Summers said.
For those who missed it live, the blogcast can currently be found in the “News Bytes” section at the ”RV Buddies” website. Photos, reviews and other coverage of the Hershey will begin appearing later this week and roll out over the next few months.
”RV Buddies” is currently in the planning stage for their trip to the California RV Show, which will be in Pomona next month.
”RV Buddies” is an RV adventure-lifestyle show featuring reviews of RVs, accessories and gear. The program is distributed as an Internet Television production on its own website, on Apple iTunes, and through other distribution channels.
”RV Buddies” also films and produces tailored videos for RV manufacturers and suppliers, as well as providing Internet marketing.
The Pennsylvania Recreational Vehicle and Campground Association (PRVCA) will hold a drawing May 5 for manufacturers, suppliers and seminar sponsors planning to attend the 41st Annual RV and Camping Show Sept. 14-20 in Hershey, Pa.
“We are probably going to be down a little as far as manufacturers are concerned, but so far, we’ve only had one company say that they weren’t going to be here,” said Heather Leach, PRVCA director of education and marketing.
“The main thing is that we are trying to remain optimistic and we are hearing from our dealers lately that things are picking up. We are taking that as a good sign.”
Last year about 60 dealers displayed product from 74 manufacturers, while retail attendance was 27,838 – down 11.6% from 2007.
Sept. 14-15 have been set aside as trade-only days,
In deference to the soft RV market, just as it did last year, PRVCA will allow manufacturers to display 20% of units from the 2009 model year. However, with that option available last year, fewer than 5% of RVs on display were 2008 units.
“It’s hard to say how many people will take advantage of that option this year, but they seem to like to have it,” Leach said.
Entertainer Bowzer from the ’70s acapella group Sha Na Na will perform Sept. 14 for trade members with Bowzer’s Rock & Roll Party.
Sales trainer Randy Sobel will be featured speaker during an opening breakfast Sept. 14 for trade members and retired Notre Dame and Pittsburgh Steeler running back Jerome Bettis will speak on “Choices that Make Champions” during breakfast Sept. 15.
Other trade seminar subjects will include distance learning for technicians by Gary Bunzer and park trailers in campgrounds by Bill Garpow, executive director of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA).