The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Park Model RV Committee (PMRV) convened on Jan. 21 to set priorities for 2014.
According to a press release, the top priority for the committee is the completion of the 2014/15 revision cycle of the ANSI A119.5 standard. Significantly, the committee is proposing to change the very name of that standard from “Standard for Recreation Park Trailers” to “Standard for Park Model RVs and Campground Units.” This change reflects the evolution of these products into two distinct categories: park models that are a type of RV on the one hand and other units that belong in campgrounds such as duplex and triplex units built to ANSI A119.5 on the other.
According to RVIA PMRV Committee Chairman John Soard of Fairmont Homes, “This change, along with dozens of technical changes, will improve the safety of park models and also catch the A119.5 standard up with the reality of what the PMRV segment of the RV industry is today in terms of what our customers and campgrounds expect and desire.” These changes must now go through the ANSI Canvass Committee and Consensus process, which could take eight to twelve months.
The committee also agreed that more detailed tracking of PMRV shipments was in order. Starting with the January 2014 PMRV shipment report, RVIA will report not just total PMRV shipments, but break those shipments down by shipments to retail consumers vs. shipments to campgrounds for use as rental units.
According to RVIA Park Model RV Executive Director Matt Wald, “Of the approximately 3,600 PMRVs shipped in 2013, our best estimate is that about half went to retail and half went to campgrounds as rental units. But the Committee thinks it’s important to get hard numbers on that question. RVIA will track and report that data.”
The committee also discussed PMRV and seasonal camping PR and advertising efforts for 2014. In 2013, those efforts were focused around a satellite media tour and earned media. For 2014, the committee is seeking to do direct consumer outreach to not just explain what PMRVs are, but promote the seasonal camping lifestyle as an alternative to second homes and vacations at hotel resorts.
The committee’s goal is to pursue this market with select media buys in the print and digital space as well as a direct-to-consumer printed piece. The committee also discussed efforts to make foreign markets including Japan more viable for export of PMRVS, how the National RV Trade Show might be improved for PMRV OEMs, and how to convince national lenders to add retail financing of PMRVs to their loan portfolios.
“This is an exciting time for our committee,” said Soard. “Like the rest of the RV industry, PMRV shipments are strong. And at this point we are through all of the transitional issues from RPTIA to RVIA. So now our focus is 100% on protecting but also especially growing and cultivating the seasonal camping and PMRV market.”
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has partnered with the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration in a program to allow RVIA members enhanced access to international trade resources offered by the federal government.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the two organizations, RVIA and the U.S. Commercial Service’s network of worldwide offices will work together on marketing, education programs and events leveraging both entities’ expertise to help make businesses — and particularly small and medium-sized firms — more export savvy. Joint activities may include building awareness through outreach at trade shows and online registration for resource support.
As a strategic partner with the U.S. Commercial Service’s New Market Exporter Initiative, RVIA member companies will receive:
• Expert advice on new export markets.
• Access to free on-line market research reports.
• Opportunities for export training.
• Access to trade counseling through Commercial Service’s worldwide network by registering at www.export.gov/rvia.
• Assistance in complying with regulatory and documentation requirements.
• Expert advice, local contacts and market intelligence from specialists located in targeted markets.
• Services to connect to local distributors and representatives.
“We’re pleased to welcome RVIA as a partner in our efforts to strengthen the U.S. economy and support local jobs through expanding U.S. exports,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez. “With more than 95% of potential customers living outside U.S. borders, it’s imperative that American companies of all sizes consider the benefits of selling their products abroad.”
“The RV industry is growing and thriving in established and new markets in countries across the globe,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “The services and expertise offered through the New Market Exporter Initiative will be very useful to our members who are looking to explore opportunities in global markets. We are very proud to partner with the U.S. Commercial Service, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, in this initiative and urge our members to take full advantage of the tools and resources available through the effort.”
For more information about the New Market Exporter Initiative and to begin using the program’s services, go to www.export.gov/rvia. For additional information, contact Craig Kirby, RVIA vice president of international business and general counsel, at email@example.com.
A new survey of RV Rental Association (RVRA) members indicates RV rental companies anticipate 2009 will be better for RV rentals than 2008, despite a slow economy. Those responding to the association’s annual survey report RV rental activity will be up an average of 12% this year, according to a news release.
“The survey results show that even in a tough economy, people still plan to go on RV vacations,” said RVRA Chairman Bert Alanko of MBA Insurance Inc. in Scottsdale, Ariz. “People value their vacation time, and renting an RV is still a very economical way to travel.”
Unlike previous years, gas prices are less of a concern for those responding to the survey. Most RV rental vacations will be about the same length as previous years, RVRA members report. The survey shows that only about 10% of RV rental customers are booking shorter trips, while 71% are booking their rental for the same amount of time as the previous year.
For anyone looking to plan an RV rental vacation this year, information and resources are available at www.rvra.org. This site offers an online directory that has a state-by-state listing of more than 300 rental companies across the U.S. and Canada. The site features consumer tips on renting, including advice on selecting the proper unit.
RVRA is the rental division of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), the national association representing RV retailers. The association’s members include RV dealers, RV rental operations and RV aftermarket locations.
Moorpark, Calif., police are warning campers to be on the lookout for scammers who offer to put a new “gel coat” on trailers and other recreational vehicles made of fiberglass, according to the Ventura County Star.
The scammers will typically look for a vehicle where the gel coat is aged and faded, police said.
They will offer unsuspecting owners a new gel coat, saying the vehicle will look “like new” again.
The cost ranges from $50 for a front grill to $1,000 for an entire motorhome, police said.
Once the job is finished, the scammers will tell their customers not to touch the newly applied material for 15 hours, saying the chemical resin could burn fingers or stick like glue.
Some scammers have also brought along a child, asking the owners to look after the child, thereby distracting them while they apply automotive or machinery grease to the vehicle.
Unsuspecting owners have discovered later that they paid up to $1,000 for someone to wipe grease all over their camper or other vehicle.
If left on the vehicle, the grease will collect dirt or become milky if the surface gets wet.
Police said the scammers have targeted Rincon Beach and other areas.
The public should ask for a valid vendor’s license, one that can be verified, before hiring anyone to do such a service, police said.
The recreation vehicle industry’s shipments are projected to total approximately 169,500 units in 2010 – a 24% increase from the 136,500 predicted for 2009 – according to a new forecast by RV industry analyst Richard Curtin, released at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Annual Membership Meeting today (June 9).
Seasonally adjusted shipments reached their low point in the first quarter of 2009, and gains are expected over the next two years as the negative financial factors that caused the steep drop in RV sales will slowly give way to improved conditions in the market.
Curtin, director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan, which produces the closely watched monthly Index of Consumer Sentiment, briefed RVIA members on his analysis of the industry’s future at RVIA’s annual Committee Week, being held this week in Washington, DC.
“The persistent appeal of the RV lifestyle as well as the good economic value provided by this form of recreation will energize future growth in the RV market, once again driving the RV market to higher levels,” said Curtin.
In addition, RVIA President Richard Coon addressed key issues critical to the industry’s long-term profitability, including the need to continue RVIA’s work to secure sufficient RV wholesale and retail financing, vehicle fuel economy, and the growing “green” movement.
Curtin said there is considerable uncertainty about the future course of the economy as well as future RV sales. This uncertainty means that RV shipments in 2010 could as much as 15% more or less than his forecast.
“This is the longest and deepest U.S. recession of the past half century,” said Curtin. “However, while fluctuations in sales are expected, there has been no change in the strong preferences expressed by consumers for the RV lifestyle.”
Consumer confidence has surged in recent months because of optimism about the Obama administration’s economic stimulus efforts and financial reforms, which RVIA worked hard to be sure included the RV industry. While these programs will aid consumers, Curtin said the pace of gains in RV sales will be more gradual than in the initial phase of past recoveries because of lingering effects from the credit crisis, slow economic growth and higher levels of unemployment. In addition, the priorities of many consumers have shifted toward debt repayment and restoration of savings and retirement accounts.
Curtin emphasized that economic adversity has caused consumers to postpone the purchase of an RV but not to forsake their commitment to the RV lifestyle.
“The RV industry is in the business of helping families form lasting bonds and having a great time getting outdoors,” said Coon. “Those are core American values that will endure and create a lasting demand for RVs.”