The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) has added a mobile app for the 2013 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas, Sept. 30–Oct.4, to enhance the convention experience for dealers and exhibitors at the event. Free and easy to use, the app allows users to view a complete list of events and create a personalized schedule and to do list, according to a press release.
“We’re pleased to be able to offer this useful tool to our attendees so they can easily plan their convention activities,” said RVDA President Phil Ingrassia. “With the growth in mobile device use it makes sense to have our convention information accessible through phones and tablets.”
The free app is available for download through Guidebook.com and is simple to use, with a clean design for easy viewing. It includes a full listing all convention partners, sponsors, and exhibitors, complete with corporate information, web address, and expo booth number. Current exhibitors are encouraged to send their corporate description to RVDA as soon as possible for inclusion on the app.
With the complete schedule on attendees’ phones, users can choose sessions, add them to their personalized agendas, and even set reminders. Users can easily share information about the convention, a single event, or an exhibitor using social media, text, or email. Updates or changes to the program are immediately available to app users. By touching the three bar icon at the top right of the screen, users are able to check for updates and share the guide with their contacts.
The app works on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry and Kindle Fire.
To download the app and find the guide for the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, go to http://guidebook.com/g/
Editor’s Note: Robert W. Baird & Co. recently partnered with the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) to contact 146 RV dealers regarding demand during the second quarter. The following is a summary of the results.
Solid industry trends continue. Dealers indicated that peak-season trends are very strong – particularly in motorhomes. Retail demand was robust – new motorhome demand jumped 28% while new towable demand improved 11%. Meanwhile, inventory is lean-to-balanced and dealer sentiment remains high, leaving manufacturers well-positioned as the evaporation of negative equity spurs new retail demand. We remain bullish on fundamentals and would look to add on weakness.
Peak-season strength. Dealers reported robust growth in motorhomes (+27-29%) and solid demand for towables (+10-12%) in April-June. Dealers also noted strong demand for used RVs (particularly motorhomes), driving used values higher according to dealers. We believe better used RV values (combined with a better housing market and higher stock prices) have helped reduce the negative equity that had prevented consumers from purchasing new RVs.
Dealers short on motorhomes. Dealer inventory appears lean in motorhomes and balanced in towables. On a days inventory basis, motorhome inventory appears flat relative to last year (99 days vs. 101 days), but by a 9:1 ratio dealers indicated that inventory was “too low” versus “too high.” The desire for inventory is also evident in the strong motorhome backlogs Winnebago (+130%) and Thor (+105%) recently reported. A limited supply of Class A chassis has exacerbated the inventory shortage. The number of days of towable inventory also appears flat, but slightly more dealers consider inventory “too low” than “too high” – a sequential improvement. Recall that dealers stocked up ahead of the retail season – a bet that paid off.
Dealer sentiment high. Dealer sentiment remains near record levels, based on our proprietary index, but fell slightly versus April. Some dealers pointed to Internet competition and supply shortages as sources of frustration, but strong retail trends and favorable credit conditions keep confidence high. We note that credit has been a tailwind in recent years but could face a challenge as interest rates rise – a trend to watch.
Workers’ compensation premiums are a significant expense for employers and lost time and productivity due to accidents and injuries affect a dealer’s bottom line.
A new webinar from the RV Learning Center on June 27 at noon EST will show dealers effective means for containing costs. According to a press release, the webinar is possible through a strategic partnership with online marketing firm KPA. Register here.
In this free webinar dealers will learn how to reduce “Experience Modifiers” through effective loss control and by implementing safety programs for lower premiums. Practical guidance on managing “light duty” and “return to work programs” will also be outlined.
Presenting the webinar, KPA’s Peter Zaidel and Kathryn Carlson will cover:
• Workers’ comp regulatory overview and where to go for state specific information.
• How to implement loss control and safety programs that will improve your “experience modifier.”
• When is “Light duty” appropriate or required and how to get workers back to work quickly.
• What you need to know about the intersection of workers’ comp and HIPAA.
• When can you terminate an employee who is out on leave.
• How to stay compliant with the ADA and FMLA when dealing with workers’ comp leaves.
If unable to attend, register here to receive a link to a recording of the webinar along with the presentation slides. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact Becky Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> (866) 356-1735 or Karin Van Duyse at the RV Learning Center at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> (703) 591-7130.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association announced that six companies have stepped forward as Bronze Partners for the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Sept. 30-Oct. 4 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. According to a press release, the convention is sponsored by RVDA, RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.
Bronze partners for the 2013 convention through today (June 18) are:
• Ally Financial
• Bank of America Merrill Lynch
• Diversified Insurance Management Inc.
• Forest River Inc.
• Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp.
• MBA Insurance Inc.
“The association could not provide the extensive educational program offered at the convention without our partners, and we proudly recognize them for their commitment to the convention and to dealers,” said RVDA Convention/Expo Committee Chairman John McCluskey of Florida Outdoors RV in Stuart. “Through convention partnership these industry leaders demonstrate outstanding support for RV dealers and dealership employees.”
Companies interested in partnership and sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact Julie Newhouse at (703) 591-7130 ext. 103 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.rvda.org and www.rvlearningcenter.com to register for the convention and for regular updates.
Bankston Motor Homes, an Alabama-based dealership founded 43 years ago, is expanding with a new facility in service facility in Ardmore, Tenn., bringing new jobs to the area.
AL.com reported that Bankston Motor Homes, which currently operates Alabamas store in Huntsville, Florence and Albertville along with an outlet in Nashville, Tenn., will open the RV service and repair facility later this year in a former Clayton Homes complex. The site will include three buildings with 104,000 square feet of multi-use space on an 8.5-acre tract. The company also owns property across the street for future development. The RV dealership did not disclose a purchase price or how much it has invested in the new facility.
“Bankston Motor Homes is proud to be a part of the Ardmore community,” said Harrison Bankston, president of Bankston Motor Homes, in a prepared statement. “I am excited about the opportunity this new facility will afford us. It will enable us not only to continue to deliver essential repair services, but it will also provide enough space for continued expansion into other areas important to our RV customers.”
In addition to providing maintenance, body shop work and assistance with RV insurance claims, the Ardmore facility will have a large indoor storage space for owners to park their RVs during the off season to prevent damage from weather.
Lazydays announced the appointment of David Witty as vice president of services, effective June 6. According to a press release, Witty will lead all areas of the company’s services business and oversee its “Customer for Life” initiative, which is focused on delivering on the company’s promise to provide an industry-leading purchase and delivery experience to each and every customer.
“We are delighted to have David join our team,” said Tim Sheehan, president and CEO of Lazydays. “His background in developing and executing standardized processes in the sales, service and fixed operations business segments in the luxury product category will be beneficial to Lazydays’ services organization during this important time.”
Witty joins Lazydays after an 18-plus year career with MarineMax, one of the largest marine retailers in the U.S. headquartered in Clearwater, Fla. Throughout his career, Witty has held key senior management posts directly responsible for the growth and profitability of the company’s sales, service and parts divisions. Additionally, Witty served as vice president of operational excellence for five years.
“I am honored to join Tim and the Lazydays team. It is exciting to be a part of an organization whose core values are built around the customers’ expectations,” said Witty. It is an exciting opportunity to work with the RV industry’s leader in unparalleled customer experience.“
A new regulatory webinar from the RV Learning Center will take dealers through an actual worst-case OSHA citation and the related penalty documents, according to a press release.
The free webinar is available for dealers through a strategic partnership with online marketing firm KPA and will take place June 13 at noon EST. Register at the KPA site.
KPA’s Eric Schmitz will explore a recent citation that contains serious, willful, and repeat violations. Titled,” From the Citation Files: OSHA’s Latest Big Hit to the Auto Industry,” the session will show and review actual proposed penalty documents. Dealers will see firsthand what they need to fix to ensure compliance.
If unable to attend Register and receive a link to a recording of the webinar along with the presentation slides. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact Becky Ross at email@example.com (866) 356-1735 or Karin Van Duyse at the RV Learning Center at firstname.lastname@example.org (703) 591-7130.
Myrtle Beach, S.C.’s award-winning Ocean Lakes RV Center just completed major renovations, and has expanded its facility. It now includes an additional RV service bay, new RV sales offices, and more space for its camper supplies, parts and accessories store and Awning Center, according to a news release.
The RV Center sits beside Ocean Lakes Family Campground’s main office and is accessible from King’s Highway and from inside the campground.
“This renovation and expansion were crucial to meet the needs and demands of our customers,” explained Chris Allen, general manager of Ocean Lakes RV Center. “We experienced a record year in sales and service during 2012 signaling that the time was right to make this investment in our facility.”
Ocean Lakes RV Center has added a 60-foot by 22-foot camper service bay onto the back of its existing structure. With seven service technicians on the team, the new service bay gives the RV Center the capability of working on larger fifth-wheel campers and park trailers. The company reported that as RVs have grown in size, including height, the older bay made it difficult for technicians to service camper roofs and air-conditioning units. Plus the 1,320 square feet of additional space allow the technicians to work on four units at one time. Ocean Lakes RV Center also travels to other area campgrounds to service RVs at their campsites.
Adding new sales offices became necessary as well. With consumer confidence on the rise and interest rates lower, 2012 was a record year for RV sales at Ocean Lakes RV Center, which specializes in travel trailers and fifth-wheel campers. The RV Center added 425 square feet for two sales offices and a pre-sales lobby to provide more privacy while dealing with financial information. In addition to new campers, Ocean Lakes RV Center also sells used campers and those on consignment. Camper inventory prices range from $7,500 – $90,000 making it appealing for many families and retirees.
The expansion allowed Ocean Lakes RV Center to also increase the square footage of its store, which carries a wide range of camping supplies and accessories. With more floor space, it is now able to stock additional accessory lines. In addition, the Ocean Lakes RV Center increased storage space to accommodate more service and store merchandise for future need.
For more information about Ocean Lakes RV Center, visit www.olrv.com, or call (800) 226-7716 or (843) 238-5532.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVDA) board approved revisions to the association’s Model Dealer Agreement at its meeting on June 4 in Arlington, Va.
According to a press release, the revisions were developed by the RVDA Industry Relations Committee, co-chaired by Randy Biles of Pikes Peak Traveland in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Debbie Brunoforte of Little Dealer, Little Prices in Mesa, Ariz.
The Model Dealer Agreement covers issues such as dealer territory, transfer of ownership, termination and warranty. The model agreement, while substantially based on the previous version approved in 2003, is updated to reflect recent changes in industry business practices and state laws.
The revised RVDA Model Dealer Agreement will be distributed to members this month.
“RVDA’s Model Dealer Agreement is designed as a tool to serve as a basis of negotiation between dealers and manufacturers. Its use is voluntary and recognizes that various state laws may govern some of the areas covered in the model,” said RVDA President Phil Ingrassia. “I want to thank Debbie, Randy, all the members of the committee, and RVDA’s Director of Legal & Regulatory Affairs Brett Richardson for their hard work on this model agreement.”
In other action, the board approved the association’s program, plan, and budget for fiscal year 2014. The $2.8 million budget includes funding for RVDA’s membership programs, advocacy efforts and educational initiatives delivered through the RV Learning Center.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) is urging members to set up a dealer profile on the RVDA Dealer App for smartphones, according to a press release.
When consumers planning RV travel go online to Rand McNally’s “Best of the Road” website, they can easily find RVDA members involved in RV sales, service, rental and aftermarket businesses. Each profile can be customized to provide information about specials, display inventory photos or post a personal statement about the dealership’s customer service commitment.
The “Best of the Road” website and RVDA Dealer Locator App combine to offer members a powerful online marketing tool that can be a great asset in promoting and growing a business. Members currently utilizing the service include:
• Noble RV in Owatonna, Minn., promotes a 10% savings on parts and service through the end of the calendar year .
• Norm’s RV in Poway, Calif., have personalized their dealer profile to promote their sales, master certified technicians and rental vehicle fleet while reminding customers that Norm’s offers storage services for RVs not in use.
• Wilkins RV in Bath, N.Y., offers store information including hours, inventory numbers and service availability.
• Stoltzfus RV in RV’s and Marine in West Chester, Pa., offers an aerial photograph on their profile page.
Every profile page already comes preloaded with links to the dealership website, directions, a map and contact information.
Members can access their profiles at www.bestoftheroad.com. For information on how to set up your profile, contact Chuck Boyd at (800) 336-0355 or email@example.com.