Expo Focusing Education On RV Rentals Issues

August 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.04.57 AMRenting RVs can be a financially rewarding enterprise so long as dealers know how to effectively manage a few common legal and regulatory challenges facing rental operators. A full track of education workshops at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will educate dealers about ways to avoid common pitfalls that can trip up a rental operation and get in the way of profits, according to a written announcement from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA).

Dealers will have access to a leading legal expert in the field, attorney Leslie Pujo, who will participate in three sessions. In addition, fleet management veteran and rental software consultant Randall Jeremiah will present two education sessions highlighting rental trends and how to drive profits. The convention/expo takes place Nov. 10-14 at Bally’s in Las Vegas and the theme for 2014 is “Passport to Excellence: Education & Training.”

Pujo, of LaPlaca Pujo PC, will have expert guidance and for those drafting rental agreements, using electronic reservations systems, and damage recovery — key areas where dealers need careful guidance to mitigate risk. Pujo’s legal practice focuses primarily on rental law and franchise law and she oversees the editing and publications of the Federal and State Guide to Vehicle Rental Law, so dealers are getting access to a leading name in the field when they attend this track.

Pujo will present “Devil in the Details: Drafting Rental Agreements,” on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 1:15 p.m. The hour-long education workshop will offer attendees a deeper understanding of the nuts and bolts of RV rental agreements and map out the regulatory minefield governing rental agreements. She’ll recount actual regulatory situations dealers have endured and offer practical advice for ways rental operators can avoid the same fate. Participants will come away with knowledge of how to properly use multi-part rental agreements and addenda; rules about taxes, fees, and other charges to be aware of; and the variety of state-required disclosures.

“Law and Disorder: RV Edition,” scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 12, will also feature Pujo and will offer participants an understanding of the variations in state law on common topics that affect all rental companies, including damage recovery, insurance priority, rental agreement disclosures, and use of GPS tracking devices.

A panel discussion will take place next, 3:15 p.m.-4:15 p.m., entitled, “Your Biggest Issues & Challenges: Ask the Experts Panel Discussion.” Bert Alanko of MBA Insurance Inc., Scott Krenek of Krenek RV Center and chairman of the RV Rental Association, Brad Bacon of PleasureLand RV Center, and Pujo will serve as panelists in a discussion that will encourage peer-to-peer learning and give attendees access to panelists’ expertise in addressing real-world topics of interest and concern to rental operators.

Themed “Passport to Excellence: Education & Training,” the convention program has been enriched to reflect the importance of training and education for all dealership staff, with programs for young executives and a special emphasis on digital marketing and social media.  Back for a second year, Vendor Training +Plus on Monday and Tuesday will offer more training opportunities, followed by track workshops for dealer/GMs and managers in sales, service, parts, and rental operations.

Randall Jeremiah, a rental management and software expert, will present two workshops on Thursday, Nov. 13. “RV Market Trends” from 9 a.m.-10 a.m. will explore the new demographics of who’s renting RVs, from younger families to Europeans vacationing in North America. At 2:15 p.m. “How to Design Your Rental Fleet for Maximum ROI,” will provide formulas and metrics for multiple different styles of RVs used for rentals. Attendees will learn how to integrate tent trailers, travel trailers, Class A, Class B, Class C motorhomes as well as other variations of units. The primary aspect of this session, will be to educate those in the rental business as well as those thinking of starting a rental business. All attendees can expect to bring home ideas on how to make a profitable rental income and meet all potential clients’ needs.

The 2014 convention will feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top companies offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability. In addition, RVDA’s Partners in Progress committees will meet to work on important dealer-manufacturer issues.

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

Visit and to register for the convention and for regular updates. You can also get convention updates on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

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GE Capital CDF Hosting RVDA’s Key Speaker

August 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 



GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) will host keynote speaker Doug Lipp for a book signing at its booth in the expo immediately following Lipp’s opening general session presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and RVDA of Canada RV Dealers International Convention in Las Vegas..

Doors to the expo will open at 4 p.m. and Lipp will be in the CDF booth, No. 202, to sign copies of his best-selling book, “Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal and Customer-Centric Employees.”

Books will be available for purchase in CDF’s booth during the signing event and the author is donating all proceeds from the sale to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

The RV Dealers International Convention Expo, Nov. 10-14 in Las Vegas, is the premier education event of the year for North American RV dealers and their top staff This year’s theme is “Passport to Excellence: Education & Training.”

Lipp’s keynote address is entitled, “Even Monkeys Fall From the Trees: Learn from Mistakes and Embrace Change.” Lipp is a world-renowned speaker and an expert on value-based corporate change, most notable for his unique position as the head of training for Disney’s corporate headquarters in the 1980s.

The convention will provide relevant learning opportunities for dealers and key members of their staff. Workshops are in place for dealer/GMs, sales staff, parts and service managers, and rental operators. A new track on social media and eMarketing has been added to the program for 2014 and compliance workshops on Friday, Nov. 14 will be open to participants in all tracks to build awareness of current regulatory issues affecting dealerships. Attendance at the Friday sessions is strongly encouraged due to the broad nature and applicability of the topics to so many staff positions within a dealership.

The 2014 convention will also feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top companies offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability.

Dealers interested in more information about the young RV executives program should contact Julianne Ryder at RVDA by email at or by phone at (703) 591-7130 x111.

Companies interested in Vendor Training +Plus, partnership opportunities, sponsorships, and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130, ext 103 or send an e-mail to

Visit and to register for the convention and for regular updates. You can also get convention updates on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Webinar Helps RV Dealers With Obamacare

July 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

If you want want to provide the best benefits plan for your employees, you need to know the law — and much of it is new. A free webinar from the Mike Molino RV Learning Center will guide employers through the best processes for selecting the right benefits program, the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) said in a written announcement.

The RV learning center, through a partnership with KPA, will present the webinar at noon ET on Thursday, July 10. RV dealers’ participation in the free, live event helps support the learning center’s development of new programs. Register at the KPA website.

Kathryn Carlson, vice president for human resources products at KPA — a dealer services and marketing company — will discuss the implications of the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act on current benefit programs, as well as provide information on options for self-insurance, private exchanges, and traditional plans.

Because employee benefits represent such a big chunk of dealership budgets, the information from this webinar can make a big difference to your bottom line, RVDA said. Dealers cannot afford to be ignorant of changes in the law and this webinar will shed light on the best ways to be in compliance and provide for employees.

Can’t attend at this time? Register anyway and you will receive links to the materials for later viewing. Dealers interested in prior webinar topics will find them on the RV Learning Center’s webinar page.  If you have any questions or feedback, please contact Becky Ross at  (866) 356-1735 or Karin Van Duyse at the RV learning center at  (703) 591-7130.

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Lance Camper Earns RVDA Recruitment Award

October 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association’s (RVDA) Sue Caldwell Memorial Award for outstanding achievement in membership recruitment was presented to Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp. on Oct. 3 during the RVDA Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.  The annual meeting is held in conjunction with the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo.

RVDA Chairman Jeff Hirsch noted that Lance was instrumental in adding 115 dealers to the association’s membership ranks during 2013. This award is presented to an individual or organization that recruits at least five new members in a 12-month period.  National Sales Manager Gary Conley accepted the award on behalf of the company.

Hirsch noted, “This is a great example of what happens when industry partners work together.”

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RVDA Extends Confab Education Opportunities

October 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

While the 2013 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and RVDA of Canada wrapped up on Friday (Oct. 4) in Las Vegas with a super session addressing F&I compliance issues, association executives stressed there are still opportunities to benefit from continuing education programs held during the event.

According to a release, links to selected workshop PowerPoint presentations will be posted soon on and There will also be an order form for audio presentations.

Kathryn Carlson from KPA, a convention workshop presenter, will also be scheduling a follow-up webinar on health care reform in partnership with the Mike Molino RV Learning Center. Details of that session will be announced soon.

A total of 1,106 industry representatives registered for the 2013 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, a 9% increase over 2012. A total of 467 dealers attended, compared to 456 in 2012.

In 2014, the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will be held the week of Nov. 9 at Bally’s in Las Vegas, Nev.

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Jim Shields Receives RVDA’s Summers Award

October 4, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Jim Shields

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Board of Directors honored Jim Shields of Pan Pacific RV Centers with the organization’s highest honor, the James B. Summers Award for 2013 on Oct. 3 at the organization’s annual meeting in Las Vegas. Shields was recognized for his long-term service to RVDA, including a term as chairman, his role in unifying RV dealers in California — leading to the creation of CalRVDA — and his eagerness to help struggling dealers to succeed.

Shields received the award surrounded by past JBS recipients gathered on the stage.

In presenting the award, RVDA President Phil Ingrassia called Shields “one of the great thinkers in our industry. He’s continually trying to improve the process and make things better — at the dealership, in the industry, and at RVDA.”

In addition to serving as RVDA Chairman, Shields’ service to the organization includes co-chairing the Government Relations Committee, participating in the RVDA marketing task force, and as a term as director of the RV Learning Center board.

The Summers award honoree is chosen by the RVDA board each year by secret written ballot from nominations made by association members. The award, created in 1986, is named for RVDA’s first CEO in recognition of service to RVDA.

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RVDA Announces New Date, Site for Con/Expo

October 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The leadership of the U.S. Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and RVDA of Canada have announced a pivotal decision to move their annual convention — the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo — to an early November timetable and to another Las Vegas casino from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino where they’ve held their annual show for a decade.

RVDA Chairman Jeff Hirsch and RVDA of Canada Chairman Ian Moore informed their respective memberships Wednesday (Oct. 2) during the opening general session of the 2013 Con/Expo.

“It is a challenge to make changes to an event that has proved to be as successful as the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo,” said Hirsch, president of New Hampshire-based Campers Inn. “But, as the RV business matures and changes, so have we. Through the state representatives on the Board of Delegates, we heard the message loud and clear that early October was not the best time for our convention. Most of us are still trying to ring the cash register.

“As a result, dealers can’t bring some of their valued employees who would truly benefit from this convention experience.”

So, Moore reported, the new schedule for future conventions, which is designed to give dealers more of a chance to take advantage of the October market and more of a break after Elkhart’s September Open House, looks something like this:

• 2014: Week of Nov. 9

• 2015: Week of Nov. 1

• 2016: Week of Nov. 6

• 2017: Week of Nov. 7

Meanwhile, the Con/Expo will move to 2,800-room Bally’s Las Vegas, another Ceasar’s property that offers more of a high-profile location on the Vegas Strip as well as a simple chance to change the game, so to speak. A room block will also be available at Caesar’s Paris Las Vegas.

“In Canada,” said Moore, “we heard from many members that they enjoy the Las Vegas experience, but after a decade at the same hotel, it’s time to go somewhere else — with a strong preference for a Las Vegas strip location. So with that input, your RVDA leaders had to work together to figure out the next phase for our joint RVDA-RVDA of Canada Convention.”

Does this present yet another obstacle for those in the industry who had entertained the idea of an all-industry convention week in which manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and dealers could all participate? That’s how it appears, at least for the next few years.

“Over the past year we’ve had many discussions on an all-industry event with industry stakeholders,” said Hirsch. “These discussions continue. We are in the discovery stage to determine feasibility in a co-located event. But there are many considerations.

“Many of you have spoken,” he continued. “There are strong opinions about having an independent event designed by dealers, for dealers. There are financial considerations for RVDA, RVDA of Canada and any partners. And finally, the jam-packed schedule at this convention and other events makes planning activities for an all-industry gathering a formidable task.”

Weighing all options, said Moore, owner of Big Boys Toys, Nanoose Bay, B.C., the two trade associations were pleased to make this rather surprising announcement. “It secures RVDA’s preferred dates in an extremely competitive environment for meetings here in Las Vegas,” he concluded.

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RV Learning Center Renamed to Honor Molino

October 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Jeff Pastore, chairman of the RV Learning Center Board of Directors, announced a name change to the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association’s (RVDA) RV Learning Center Wednesday (Oct. 2) during the opening general session of the 2013 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas.

The center has been renamed in honor of Mike Molino, RVDA’s longest-serving CEO. Molino was president of RVDA from 1996 to 2012. “The Mike Molino RV Learning Center” honors Molino’s groundbreaking leadership in promoting continuing education and educational opportunities for dealers and their staffs.

“Working with RVDA dealer leaders and other industry partners, Mike was the driving force behind a number of initiatives at RVDA that continue today — including public affairs advocacy, industry relations, and Go RVing,” Pastore said in a news release. “But what really stands out for many of us is Mike’s unwavering commitment to and leadership in continuing education.”

Molino, working with volunteer leaders, began the RVDA Education Foundation — which later became the RV Learning Center. He was also instrumental in creating certification programs for fixed-operations staff and the partnership with RVIA for the tech cert prep program.

The Mike Molino RV Learning Center is dedicated to providing dealers and their employees with innovative ways to operate RV dealerships through an array of education resources including publications, distance learning, live workshops, online products, training, and certification programs for RV dealership personnel.

For more information on the Mike Molino RV Learning Center, visit

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October Now a ‘Good Month’ for the RV Industry

September 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Phil Ingrassia

Editor’s Note: Phil Ingrassia, president of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), penned this column for October’s RV Executive Today:

It wasn’t long ago that the conventional wisdom in the RV industry was that business traditionally started to slow down in October in many parts of the country.

Well, not any more. Retail data from recent years shows that, in the words of Tom Walworth of Statistical Surveys, “October is a good month.” Here’s the breakdown of national RV retail registrations in October during the past few years, according to Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Statistical Surveys:

• 2009: 12,196

• 2010: 13,610

• 2011: 13,420

• 2012: 14,956

Those October numbers are closer to what U.S. dealers sell in March, with the smell of spring in the air. In fact, the only months with fewer than 10,000 national retail deliveries are now December and January — dealers retailed more than 10,000 units in both February and November in 2011 and 2012.

So, everyone is making adjustments to what is now a year-round sales cycle — including your national advertising campaign. When Go RVing began in the late ’90s, the industry’s media buys were front-loaded to coincide with the spring and summer RV travel season. Go RVing typically would scale back advertising significantly in the fall and early winter months, but with families and empty-nesters on the go and buying RVs all year-round, a new approach is needed.

This year, Go RVing’s new “AWAY” ad featuring a tailgating theme made its debut Labor Day weekend and will continue to air throughout the fall in conjunction with college football ad buys with ESPN and CBS Sports.

The new ad is part of Go RVing’s attempt to leverage the strong connection between RVing and tailgating season and to keep positive messages about RV travel in front of consumers throughout the year.

Have a great fall selling season, and thanks for your support.

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RVDA Renewing Agreement with Caliper Corp.

September 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) has renewed its longstanding endorsement agreement with Caliper Corp. for employee assessment and testing.

For nearly a half-century, Caliper has consulted with more than 28,000 companies on improving every aspect of their workforce — from hiring and selection to employee development and succession management.

Starting with accurate, objective insights, Caliper clients benefit from the time-tested personality assessment, the Caliper Profile. Caliper assessment tools enable clients to reduce the high cost of turnover, help first-time mangers excel, and create solutions that are tailored, practical and adaptable.

“Over the years, RV dealers and RVDA itself have used the Caliper Profile to hire top performers in customer service and sales,” said RVDA President Phil Ingrassia.  “Caliper provides employers with useful tools that help them develop talent and work on team-building for a more productive workforce.”

For more information about Caliper programs and services, go to To see a full listing of all RVDA-endorsed products and services, click here.


RVDA is the national association representing RV retailers. The association’s members include RV dealers, RV rental operators, and RV AfterMarket sales and service locations.   Visit RVDA at

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