Souvenirs Available for June 7 Industry Celebration

May 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

RVIA_CentennialAs the sold-out June 7 RV Centennial Celebration is a once-in-a-century event, RVIA encourages all attendees to take home souvenirs to commemorate the industry’s 100th birthday.

During the reception and barbecue, groups and individuals will have the opportunity to take a commemorative photo that will have the beautiful RV/MH Hall of Fame in the background, and will be emblazoned with an RV Centennial banner and the date of the celebration. Guests will be able to download photos for printing after the event, and RVIA encourages everyone to take advantage of this special souvenir, according to the current issue of RVIA Today  Express.

There will also be a chance for all willing participants to be the star of their own music video. RVIA has hired Dance Heads Recordings to be on hand at the festival to produce music video DVDs for anyone who chooses to make one. Not a big dancer? Not a problem. Just sing along to the song of your choice – the professionals from Dance Heads Recordings will be superimposed on an animated body. The music video booth is sure to be a hot spot – don’t miss the opportunity to take home this unique souvenir.

At the Elkhart Truth booth guests can pick up a 32-page special section of the paper that will serve as a commemorative item marking the industry’s 100th year. Attendees will also have a program and Centennial button to take home.

Guests should make sure to see the gift the industry has donated to the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum, the Centennial Time Capsule. Over the past months a wide variety of RVIA members and industry partners have been contributing items that portray a “snapshot of the industry in 2010.”

The Centennial Time Capsule will be on display during the festival and afterward will remain on permanent display in the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum where it will remain locked for 25 years.

All of these attractions will be open from 6:30 to 8:30 during the Centennial Celebration, closing when the formal program begins.

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June Named RV and Camping Month in Pennsylvania

May 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell has proclaimed the month of June as Recreation Vehicle and Camping Month in Pennsylvania.

The state proclamation coincides with the national RV and Camping Month in an effort to focus on both the benefits of RVing as well as the RV Centennial celebrations.

“The lives of today’s families are increasingly hectic, making the importance of extended and relaxed vacation time as a whole family, away from everyday demands, greater than ever,” the governor stated, and he encouraged “all citizens to pursue their passions and escape with their families on the road across the farthest reaches of our state.”

RVing and camping continue to be strong forces in Pennsylvania’s economy, according to a news release. The RV industry’s largest trade and retail show in the country is held at the GIANT Center in Hershey and hosted by the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA). In celebration of 100 years of RVing, this year’s show features a special RV History exhibit by Al Hesselbart displaying antique RVs as well as a campsite exhibit.

Visitors are even welcomed into the state with seven state-wide billboards directing them to the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA) website. Pennsylvania also offers career opportunities and apprenticeships to the many campgrounds and RV dealerships across the state of Pennsylvania.

In conjunction with the governor’s proclamation, the PRVCA is kicking off its annual Open House campaign.

“The goal of the Open House campaign,” says Rebecca Lenington, PRVCA executive vice president, “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.”

This year over $121,000 is budgeted for the Open House advertising campaign which will utilize more than 1,300 commercials on both television and radio. In addition to commercials, PRVCA has secured many banner ads on various media outlet websites. The commercials will appear state-wide and the ads will begin running June 4-13.

The PRVCA Open House television advertisements are comprised from Go RVing stock footage featuring the “Ambassadors of Affordability singing “Back in the Saddle Again” and radio ads featuring the “Traveling in my RV” jingle. All advertisements promote June as Pennsylvania RV and Camping month, visiting an RV dealer or campground to explore the possibilities of RVing and the freedom of travel in an RV.

The tag line follows the National Go RVing campaign, “What will you discover? Go RVing.” Consumers can also request the PRVCA membership directory, Explore Pennsylvania, which lists all members, and is loaded with travel destinations and attractions, and fun RVing facts.

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RV Centennial Celebration on June 7 Sold Out

May 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

RVIA_CentennialThe Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) announced today (May 20) that tickets to the RV Centennial Celebration in Elkhart, Ind., have sold out.

All 1,000 tickets were sold prior to the association’s May 21 deadline for ticket sales.

RVIA will honor all requests for tickets that it received through May 14. Ticket holders who find that they do not need the tickets they requested, are asked to contact Doreen Cashion at RVIA at (800) 336-0154 so that extra tickets may be freed up for other industry members.

Industry members who make requests for tickets from this point forward will be placed on a wait-list and honored on a first-come, first-served basis as cancellations come in. Those on the wait-list for tickets will be notified as soon as RVIA is able to offer tickets to them. Wait-list companies will be notified no later than June 4 if RVIA is unable to accommodate their request for tickets

Parking at the RV Centennial Celebration

RVIA also announced important parking guidelines for those attending the event. Limited parking will be available on-site at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart – and at the neighboring RSM McGladrey accounting firm. In order for event attendees to park on-site, they must be participating in a carpool with at least three people in each car. Cars with fewer than three people will not be allowed to park onsite.

For those unable to carpool, RVIA is offering shuttle buses that will take guests to and from the Century Center Marriott in South Bend and RV/MH Hall of Fame. RVIA will also offer nearby satellite parking with shuttle-bus service to the event. Details of satellite parking will be announced soon.

Companies that have large groups of attendees coming to the Centennial Celebration are urged to run their own busses to allow as many of their attendees as possible to travel together as a group in one vehicle.

The RV Centennial Celebration, set for June 7 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Ind., will include a barbecue and outdoor reception featuring casual fare and a variety of entertaining booths, a Centennial Campfire surrounded by antique RVs, and more. The outdoor reception will be followed by a special program honoring the industry’s past. The fast-paced, one–hour program held inside the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum will include entertaining videos and presentations saluting the industry’s history, and a cake-cutting ceremony. A rousing fireworks display will wrap up the evening.

With questions, contact Cashion at (800) 336-0154 ext. 324 or

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1953 Trailer Hit Part of June 7 RVIA Program

May 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Promotional material on the 1953 release of "The Long, Long Trailer."

Promotional material for the 1953 hit "The Long, Long Trailer."

RVIA PR Committee Chairman B.J. Thompson and RVIA Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Gary LaBella will present a 10-minute video, “A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Our Centennial” during the RV Centennial Celebration, set for June 7 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart.

Part of a fast-paced, entertaining one-hour program, “A Funny Thing Happened” features some of the funniest RV moments from motion pictures and television shows dating back to the 1953 comedy masterpiece “The Long, Long Trailer” featuring Lucy Ball and Desi Arnaz.

The hilarious highlight reel features clips taken from hours of video that LaBella and Thompson have previously shown to the industry during the course of their 25 years presenting at RVIA annual meetings and Louisville Outlook breakfasts.

LaBella said, “As it turns out, the road to our centennial was too funny to pack into just one 10-minute video.” So Thompson and LaBella will screen an encore video – featuring even more terrific RV media clips – at RVIA’s Annual Membership Meeting June 9 at the Century Center in South Bend.

Tickets are required for entry to the RV Centennial celebration, and are available to RV industry representatives, the media and invited guests. The event is not open to consumers. Tickets to the event must be purchased in advance, as walk-ups cannot be accommodated at the event, and are available for anyone connected to the industry, including spouses, colleagues and co-workers, over the age of 18.

For a ticket request form, email Huyen Dang at or visit and click on “Events.”

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Senate Recognizes RV Centennial Month

May 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

RVIA_CentennialTo honor 100 years of enjoyment of recreation vehicles in the U.S., the U.S. Senate adopted a resolution on May 14, officially declaring June 2010 to be “RV Centennial Celebration Month.”

There was unanimous support for the resolution and the homegrown RV industry that has developed to support camping, exploring, and recreation and has provided good paying jobs for thousands of families, according to a news release from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

The resolution was introduced by Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and also garnered bipartisan cosponsors from key RV producing states.

The resolution declares, in part, that the “Senate supports and recognizes the goals and ideals of ‘RV Centennial Celebration Month’ to commemorate 100 years of enjoyment of recreation vehicles in the United States; and encourages the people of the United States to celebrate this anniversary by taking part in recreation vehicle vacations.”

Central to the industry’s celebrations in June will be the RV Centennial Celebration on June 7, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Ind. The event will be a fun-filled family-oriented festival including entertainment, a campfire with a display of antique RVs, fireworks, and traditional camping food and drink. A very important theme of the RV Centennial Celebration will be a “Salute to RV Workers” to honor the industry’s hard-working men and women who build the product and who are the heart and soul of our industry.

RVIA Vice President of Government Affairs Dianne Farrell said, “We are so pleased that the Senate has now officially proclaimed June as RV Centennial Celebration Month, honoring the RV industry on the occasion of its 100th Anniversary. Our industry owes Senators Bayh and Lugar our thanks for leading this effort to recognize our industry.”

The Senate action follows on the heels of five state resolutions that have been adopted over the past few months. The state legislatures of Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana and Oklahoma have all marked the occasion of the RV industry’s Centennial with official resolutions, and several governors are expected to issue similar proclamations.

In Florida, the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) worked closely with state Sen. Mike Haridopolos to get its resolution passed. In Indiana, the Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (RVIC) worked with the Indiana state legislature to have that state’s resolution adopted, and Winnebago Industries worked closely with the Iowa legislature for its adoption of a resolution “in support of the ideals and goals” of the RV Centennial. Maurice LeBlanc of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Robert, Louisiana, worked with Louisiana State Representative Steve Pugh to get the resolution passed there.

Farrell continued, “The United States economy is driven largely by consumer spending and by small and medium sized businesses. These are the very people who comprise the RV industry and we extend our thanks to the states that passed resolutions in honor of our 100th Anniversary.”

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., introduced H. Res. 1073 earlier this year with Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., as an original cosponsor and 20 other Congressmen signed on.

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‘Centennial Charlie’ to Visit FTCA May 17

May 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

"Centennial Charlie" with u.S. Rep. DeFazio on a recent visit to Washington, D.C.

"Centennial Charlie" with U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio on a recent visit to Washington, D.C.

As America’s RV industry revs up for a year’s worth of celebrations in recognition of its 2010 centennial, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is sending the Official Ambassador of the 2010 RV Centennial – a 34-inch American black bear stuffed animal named Centennial Charlie – on a road trip to honor the people who love RVing and the workers who are the heart and soul of the RV industry.

FTCA Inc. – the manufacturer of Coleman camping trailers – will host the 2010 RV Centennial mascot during the week of May 17 in Somerset, Pa., before sending him to his next stop on the 100-day tour. Centennial Charlie, who is inspired by the bear in Go RVin’g 2010 Ambassadors of Affordability ad campaign, will bring the industry’s celebrations to RV enthusiasts and RV employees in a fun, unconventional way.

“Since a central theme of the Centennial Celebration is a ‘Salute to RV Workers,’ we wanted to be sure to reach out to those workers with our Centennial Ambassador,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “We in the RV industry know that the hard-working men and women on the factory floors, in the offices, and out in the field are the heart and soul of our industry.”

On the occasion of its centennial anniversary, the RV industry will thank and honor its workers, whose commitment to creating quality RV products has helped bring American families closer together for a century.

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Upcoming Cookbook Honors RV Centennial

April 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

rvcookbookThe Recreation Vehicle Industry Assocation (RVIA) has endorsed Evada Cooper’s upcoming RV Centeniall Cookbook: Celebrating 100 Years of RVing to mark the 100th anniversary of RVing in the United States.

 “I’m just very excited,” said Cooper in a news release. “It’s all about family, friends and food.”

The Coopers own and operate the Movile RV Acadamy, an online RV maintenance academy.

A portion of the book sales will be donated to the Texas Recreation Vehicle Association (TRVA) to further RV maintenance education.

The cookbook, to be published by us later this year, will feature recipes that are easy and quick to prepare, especially for the avid RVer.

“We would love to have recipes from every RV association across the country,” said Cooper.

The cookbook also will contain tips on maintaining RVs from Cooper’s husband, Terry, nationally known as the ”Texas RV Professor.” He also is an instructor at Texas State Technical College System (TSTC), which is publishing the cookbook.

The book will offer tidbits of RV history and photos of early RVs featured on a special RVIA centennial  website.

“We are happy to offer our endorsement and allow the book to be called the ‘official’ RV Centennial cookbook,” said Bernadette Murphy, RVIA communications director. 

The national organization launched its centennial celebration earlier this year with the centennial website that chronicles the history of RVing in America.

TSTC Publishing was established in 2004 and is the publishing arm of the Texas State Technical College System. TSTC Publishing is a leading provider of high-end technical instructional materials and related information to institutions of higher education and private industry. For more information on the RV Centennial Cookbook, please contact

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Centennial Charlie Embarks on Goodwill Tour

April 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

charlie_logoDuring a time in the nation’s capital when bitter infighting between Democrats and Republicans is at an all-time high, “Centennial Charlie,” the official mascot of the RV Centennial, has embarked on a good-will tour of Capitol Hill offices and has proven to be that rarest of creatures – one who is beloved by members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, according to a news release.

“Centennial Charlie has spent a whirlwind week meeting with key members of Congress and learning the ‘bear’ essentials of how things get done inside the beltway,” said Dianne Farrell, vice president of government affairs for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). “In addition to his largely ceremonial role as ambassador for the RV Centennial, Charlie was quite an effective lobbyist promoting House and Senate resolutions designating June 2010 as RV Centennial Celebration month.”

RVIA legal counsel is checking on Charlie’s possible lobbying registration requirements.

Farrell also noted that Charlie has brought several intangibles to his D.C. tour, saying, “Centennial Charlie is just what Washington, D.C., needs right now. A big, sweet bear to remind them that what’s really important is the quality time we spend with our family and friends. And that there is no better way to spend that time than RVing in America’s Great Outdoors.”

Centennial Charlie meets with U.S. Rep. Pete DeFazio, D-Ore.

Centennial Charlie listens (?) to U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., during a fundraiser this week in Washington, D.C.

During his time in the nation’s Capital, Centennial Charlie attended a Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., fundraiser on Tuesday (April 20) and had drinks with Minority Leader Boehner, R-Ohio, Wednesday night at the Capitol Hill Club. Charlie spent time with several members on Thursday, including many members of the Indiana House delegation — Democrat Joe Donnelly  and Republicans Mark Souder, Dan Burton and Mike Pence.

But anonymous sources are reporting that Charlie has been spotted around town on unscheduled visits as well. One D.C. insider who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, “I’m pretty sure I spotted Charlie exiting the Supreme Court.” This fact, combined with Charlie’s quiet, judicial temperament have fueled speculation that he could be President Obama’s next Supreme Court nominee.

A video account of Centennial Charlie’s Cross-Country Caravan will be screened at the RV Centennial Celebration, taking place June 7 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind. This is an industry-only event open to those 18 years of age and older. Tickets are required. For tickets email

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Winnebago Celebrates Milestone Anniversary

April 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Consider it a celebration of a lifestyle.

Winnebago Industries Inc. of Forest City, Iowa, invited community members to help the company celebrate the 100th anniversary of the recreational vehicle industry this week.

“It’s a lifestyle,” Winnebago CEO Bob Olson told the Forest City Summit. “It’s the freedom to roam the country.”

Winnebago has been part of that lifestyle for 52 years and is a leader in the RV industry.

“Winnebago has been a main employer for a number of years,” Olson said of the company’s presence in the region.

Olson said the company wanted to acknowledge that presence as well as the contributions made by founders John and Luise Hanson when it invited the community to the event, which included tours of some of the company’s facilities.

Olson hoped many local residents attended to learn “what Winnebago is all about.”

Doug and Liz Alms were not at the event but they know a lot about the RV lifestyle.

The Almses have a 2004 Itasca, a brand also made by Winnebago. They ordered the RV to their specifications. The couple has been living in the RV since June of 2006.

“Since we about the motorhome, we’ve traveled over 70,00 miles,” Doug Alms said.

The couple has put on about 50,000 of those miles as full-time motorhome residents, he said.

The Almses were in Texas last week where they worked at a rally.

The biggest transition was moving from vacation mode to lifestyle mode, Liz Alms said.

“We are not playing tourists,” Liz Alms said. “We pay bills, do laundry, get groceries, things anybody would do at their home.”

While they don’t play tourists, they still take in the local activities at campgrounds or RV sites and within the community.

“We take in small town activities, if a fair is going on, a parade…,” Doug Alms said.

The Almses are in their mid-50s and they were able to retire early because of careers. The couple may be at one end of the RV lifestyle, but they said there are others like them traveling the highways and interstates.

Thousands of others use their motorhomes on weekends or vacations.

At the open house visitors had a chance to learn more about how those Winnebagos and Itasca motorhomes they see on the road are built.

“We are proud of our facility. We are proud of our people,” Olson said. “We are leading the industry in technology. We are by far the most technologically advanced facility in the industry bar none.”

Olson said the company will continue to be a leader after 52 years in a 100-year-old industry.

“This is a culture,” Olson said of RV use. “You won’t take that lifestyle away from people.”

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Woodworth Takes RV Story to Philadelphia

April 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

RV historian Dave Woodworth rolled into Philadelphia this week and garnered some air time on WTXF-TV’s “Good Day” to mark the 100th anniversary of the RV industry.

Watch today’s featured video on the home page to see that broadcast.

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