The Recreational Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA) presented Cequent Performance Products Inc. with the 2012 Product of the Year Runner-up award for their new Reese Goose Box RV coupler.
The Reese Goose Box is a solution for fifth-wheel RV users who prefer to use gooseneck hitches. The airbag technology used in the Goose Box reduces the stress to the RV frame. The combination of the airbag, dual shocks and rubber bumpers provides multi-directional shock absorption for a smoother driving experience.
“The proper installation of a Goose Box is acceptable under most RV frame warranties,” said Gail Matheus, GM-NA Automotive Products, “whereas other gooseneck solutions can void the RV frame warranty.”
For more information on the Goose Box, visit www.ReeseProducts.com.
Some 210 people will represent 100 aftermarket suppliers, distributors and agents at the annual Recreation Vehicle Aftermarket Association’s (RVAA) conference Wednesday (Aug. 25) through Friday at the Hyatt Huntington Beach in Huntington, Beach, Calif., where the focus will again be on establishing best practices.
”We have come up with 12 best practices divided into three categories,” said Karl Etshied, executive director of the 110-member association headquartered in Camp Hill, Pa. ”We introduced our best practices program based on the work of the Go RVing Committee on Excellence last year, but we are trying to push it forward this year. We know a lot of work went into that.”
RVAA has developed a series of best practices in the areas of sales, education and parts. Chief among them is providing numbers for parts and establishing standardized ordering.
”That’s so that suppliers can use one ordering sheet instead of having to deal with 25 different sheets,” says Etshied.
Following the traditional format, distributors and suppliers will participate in one-on-one meetings ”to decide what they are going to do for the next year,” he said.
”We give suppliers a chance to come into a room and answer a series of questions,” he added. ”We have moderators who work with them to determine what best practices they are using. We want to get our suppliers up to the highest level.”
After a decline in attendance over the last two years, individual registrations for the annual meeting are up 20% and company registrations up 10% over last year.
RVAA also will elect members to its board of directors and present its President’s Award for service to the association and a Supplier Performance Award based on a survey of distributors.
Sixteen distributors and 70 suppliers — an increase of 15% over last year — have registered for next week’s Recreation Vehicle Aftermarket Association’s (RVAA) Annual Executive Conference. The premier RV aftermarket event takes place Tuesday (Aug. 4) through Friday at the Chase Park Plaza hotel in St. Louis.
”I think the increased registration says that the aftermarket is going pretty well,” said Carl Etshied, executive director of the 112-member organization that includes distributors, suppliers and manufacturers’ agents. ”We walked out of our meeting last year just as the wheels were coming off the whole credit thing thinking that this year was going to be a bad year.
”But from what my members are telling me, over the last four or five months, they’ve seen things pick up,” Etshied added. ”I talked to one distributor who had a record month last month. That’s not across-the-board. Overall, it’s been a tough year. But the attitudes of our members are incredibly optimistic.”
The RVAA conference is unique in that it allows suppliers to sit down one-on-one for up to 40 minutes with distributors to pitch products and ideas. ”The format of our meetings is not just people sitting in the audience and listening to someone talk for half an hour,” Etshied said.
Etshied, of course, is pleased by the increased registration. ”This is a year that they could have easily just phoned it in and forgot about the conference,” he said. ”Everybody’s cutting back on spending and travel budgets have been cut, but this is one event that many of our members thought they couldn’t afford to miss.”
Also during the conference, RVAA will present awards to a dozen members who have adopted ”best practices” suggested in RVAA’s new Aftermarket Efficiency Program in the areas of parts, sales and education.
”As a small association we’re pleased that we’ve been able to get some of our members to recognize the importance of best practices,” Etshied said.
The creation of the efficiency program was the result of the Go RVing Coalition’s Committee on Excellence quality task forces, Etshied said.