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).