The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has unveiled a one-year pilot program designed to increase the awareness of and participation in industry technician training and certification programs by having field representatives call directly on RV dealerships to educate management and technicians about educational opportunities.
RVIA has hired Wade Greenwood and Connie Acord to serve as RVST in-field representatives. The two began visiting dealerships the week of Oct. 23 after undergoing orientation sessions on industry education programs at RVIA headquarters the week of Oct. 7.
Greenwood, who has experience on the RV manufacturing side handling RV warranty and service issues after working for Forest River Inc. and Skyline Corp., will cover the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Acord will focus on the South Central area, including Texas and Louisiana. She has previously worked for Keystone/NTP, Bumper Manufacturing and Valley Industries.
The pair will collect contact information at dealerships, identify the training that each tech has received to date, and work with service managers to determine the technician training needs. Service training will be coordinated with RVIA members with the goal to bring training directly to the dealerships. Research has found that service managers like the RVST training, but sending technicians away for a week at a time is not feasible.
“We are very excited about the potential of this program to invigorate our RV service tech training efforts,” said Bruce Hopkins, RVIA vice president of standards and education. “RV dealerships are busy throughout the year now and can’t afford to send techs away for periods of time for training. New ways have to be found to get this important training to the dealerships, and we think offering training on site is the way to go.”
In addition to the technician pilot program, RVIA is also creating an on-line, controlled access technical library that will be available to participating technicians, invited subject matter experts, and others.
RVIA has hired Sara Pierce to serve as the RVST librarian to specifically find wanted technical information, and, more importantly, to serve as a resource for RVIA supplier and manufacturing members who will be able to manage their own information in this library. She has been working on the structure of the online library, populating it with technical data that RVIA had on file, and contacting member manufacturers and suppliers to gather data and documentation.
Pierce previously worked for the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Va., and holds a master’s in library and information Studies.
“The overall goal of the library and in-field program is to increase RVST training and certification. RVIA has never tracked training in the past and technicians don’t currently have an available mentor to help them plan and obtain the training they want and need. These programs are designed to resolve these issues,” added Hopkins.
Sports Illustrated senior writer Peter King will provide an insider’s view of the NFL and share tales from his three-week RV tour of NFL training camps this summer at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Outlook 2014: EVERYWHERE, the popular opening breakfast kicking off the National RV Trade Show on Dec. 3 from 7:30-9 a.m. in the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) South Wing Ballroom.
Go RVing teamed with Sports Illustrated to provide King with a Jayco Precept Class A motorhome for his Monday Morning Quarterback (MMQB) Training Camp Tour this summer. He and other Sports Illustrated writers and staffers enjoyed a three-week RV odyssey that visited 19 training camp sites. Along the way, King and other writers wrote and blogged about their RV adventures in addition to their normal football reporting on the widely-read MMQB.com site as well as other Sports Illustrated properties.
“John Madden used to say it all the time, and I am merely copycatting him by saying what a beautiful country this is, and I’m lucky over the past weeks to be driving through it instead of flying over it,” King wrote in one column.
King is one of America’s premier pro football writers and his MMQB column on SI.com, which began in 1997, has become a must-read for fans, league insiders and anyone who loves the NFL. The column regularly draws more than 12 million page views, and based on its popularity, Sports Illustrated and King expanded the column this summer to become a stand-alone site.
Hosted by RVIA Chairman Doug Gaeddert, Outlook 2014: EVERYWHERE will offer an overview of the industry’s successes over the past year as well as a look at the industry’s promising future.
RVIA President Richard Coon will share his thoughts on the state of the industry and where it is headed in the year ahead in a presentation titled “Growing Everywhere.”
The industry’s Go RVing and media relations team will deliver “Seen Everywhere,” a multimedia report highlighting the most impactful advertising and public relations achievements in 2013 and previewing what’s in store for 2014. The presentation will feature Go RVing co-Chairmen Bob Wheeler and Tom Stinnett as well as RVIA Public Relations Committee Chairman B.J. Thompson and RVIA Vice President of Public Relations and Advertising James Ashurst.
The Outlook 2014: EVERYWHERE program and breakfast are free for attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. All National RV Trade Show attendees are welcome, and no reservations are necessary. Show registration will be available in the South Wing Lobby C Entrance prior to the event.
A new internet platform and updated curriculum to prepare RV technicians for industry certification and recertification is now available, thanks to the joint efforts of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and the Mike Molino RV Learning Center.
According to a press release, the new RV Technician Certification Prep program features updated online materials and test preparation resources that reflect the changing needs of the RV industry, which relies on professionally trained and certified technicians to maintain the latest RVs on the road today.
The online program also allows every technician access to individual self-study training and certification preparation for all sections of the RVDA-RVIA RV Certified RV Technician Career Ladder.
The new platform is designed to track, train, and prepare RV technicians at all levels to be able to pass a certification exam or to prepare to be recertified. All content and testing is online and there is no need for other program materials.
“RVIA and RVDA have worked together to develop this new training site for the benefit of all service technicians, dealerships, manufacturers, and suppliers,” said Bruce Hopkins, RVIA vice president of standards and education. “This new platform really enhances the accessibility and convenience for techs readying themselves for certification which is vitally important in today’s RV market where there never seems to be any down time. As we are all aware, a well-functioning technician training effort is a key element in the overall health of the RV industry.”
“Certified technicians are in great demand today and this program is designed to help meet that growing need,” said RVDA President Phil Ingrassia. “Our industry is on the rebound and this improved program will help technicians successfully navigate the path to certification.”
The goal of the RVDA-RVIA technician certification program is to identify professionals who have demonstrated the knowledge and ability to satisfy established, respected standards on RV diagnostic and repair procedures. Technicians must pass a rigorous testing process designed to measure technical competency and recognize those who meet or exceed industry standards.
To register for RV Tech Cert Prep Courses and industry certification, visit www.rvtechnician.com.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has scheduled its 2014 Annual Meeting for March 4 – 7, 2014, at the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, Calif.
According to a press release, Annual Meeting attendees will have the opportunity to discuss association activities, attend informative seminars and network with business colleagues.
The tentative schedule includes the arrival of Executive Committee and board members on March 4. The following day will be the major day of arrival for Annual Meeting attendees and will also feature the Executive Committee and RVIA board meetings, the First Timers and Welcome receptions, and an Annual Meeting Alumni Dinner.
A seminar session, featuring three presentations, will take place the morning of March 6. RVIA’s Annual Membership Meeting will be held that afternoon and feature reports on association activities from RVIA Chairman Doug Gaeddert and RVIA President Richard Coon. The day concludes with the Chairman’s Reception and Dinner.
Friday is an open day with attendees able to play golf or tour the area.
“The Annual Meeting is the ideal venue for our members to come together and develop the relationships that are so crucial to success,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “I’ve heard from so many people that attending this event opened their eyes to all the association does on behalf of the industry and influenced them to become more active in the organization.”
The Park Hyatt Aviara is an award-winning property set on 200 acres approximately 40 minutes north the San Diego airport. It offers state-of-the art meeting facilities as well as a wide range of activities and dining options.
For more information about the RVIA Annual Meeting, contact the association’s Meeting department at (703) 620-6003, ext. 305.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law legislation backed by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) that “brings clarity to the state vehicle code and will allow longer fifth-wheel travel trailers in the state,” according to a press release.
RVIA, working closely with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and the RV Dealers Association of California, was able to get legislation enacted that permits fifth-wheel trailers to be up to 48 feet in overall length, provided the kingpin to rear axle length is 40 feet or less for a fifth-wheel with two or more axles. If there is only one axle, the kingpin to axle length may not exceed 38 feet.
The legislation clarifies an ambiguity in the law that arose in late 2012 by instituting a uniform process to measure fifth-wheels. The issue surfaced last October when the California DMV issued a “Vehicle Industry News” bulletin to its field offices instructing that a registration application form for a fifth-wheel trailer must include its length and width in inches, and that any unit exceeding 40 feet in length from the “foremost point of the trailer hitch to the rear extremity of the trailer body” would not be considered a vehicle.
At that time there was no measurement standard for fifth-wheel trailers included in any California statute or regulation, and the new DMV enforcement position created problems for the RV industry because models in excess of 40 feet – measured according to the method in the DMV bulletin – could no longer be titled or registered as a vehicle with DMV.
As part of the new law, a manufacturer of a fifth-wheel trailer of any size must include in the delivery documents to the dealer the information necessary to register that fifth-wheel travel trailer, including the vehicle’s overall length and a declaration that the vehicle is in compliance with the kingpin to rear axle length provision. An RV dealer would have the right to refuse acceptance of the trailer if this information is not provided.
“Officially, the law takes effect on January 1, 2014,” said Director of Government Affairs Mike Ochs, who led the effort for RVIA. “However, since we worked closely with DMV and CHP in crafting this bill, it is not likely that a DMV field office will refuse to register or title a fifth wheel that falls within the new length requirements prior to the effective date.”
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) will be holding a webinar on Oct. 17 outlining “Early Warning Reporting and Recall Reporting Rulemaking Changes and Requirements” regarding the National Highway Traffic Safety Administion’s (NHTSA) Final Rule of Aug. 20, 2013.
According to a press release, the changes are of importance to RV manufacturers, suppliers and anyone with compliance responsibilities. It will outline how the reporting and rulemaking changes and requirements of NHTSA affect products made within the industry.
Presented by Richard Boyd, a former NHTSA division chief, and RV industry consultant Von Lindsey, the webinar will cover an early warning reporting history, current requirements and rulemaking changes; Part 573, Defect or Non-Compliance Reporting and Part 577, Owner Notification Letters.
The cost for attending will be $149 per terminal site, and registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, forward the registration form (found at http://www.rvia.org/?ESID=UpcmgMtgsSmnrs) to Gatie Gore at email@example.com or fax to (703) 620-5071.
Fueled perhaps by the ongoing resurgence of the RV market, viewers of the popular reality television show “Rock My RV With Brett Michaels” tune in weekly to watch as used recreational vehicles are updated in with unique interiors and wild exterior designs.
At the upcoming 61st Annual California RV Show, hosted by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association and held Oct. 11-20 at the Fairplex in Pomona, Calif., followers of the Travel Channel series can view several of these creations in person.
As noted in a release, all of the RVs featured in the show had to be unique in several ways. First they had to be older than 10 years and still being used by the owners. Secondly, the RV owners had personal stories related to how they use their RV for vacations, traveling or to live in most of the time. Finally, each owner had to allow Bret Michaels and his team of engineers and designers to scrap the interiors and start from an empty shell.
Among the RVs redesigned by Michaels and his crew:
• Dan Caldwell’s Tapout. The RV has a gatling gun mounted on the roof — but instead of bullets, it shoots out t-shirts. A one-of-a-kind spiral stairway allows the owner to get to the top of the RV.
• Gypsy, owned by photographer Meeno Peluce, which features a rear slideout built to give the motorhome an unusual bed that looks like a gypsy’s caravan. The exterior graphics also reflect the gypsy theme.
• The Scum Scouts RV, a Coachman model owned by Tracy and Juanita Mendonsa that was a special dedication to their son, Zach, who passed away. His drawing of a Scum Scout was used as the exterior graphics while the interior incorporates all the bright colors in Zach’s design.
The West Coast’s largest RV show, the California RV Show will feature more than 1,000 RVs on display plus entertainment, food and educational seminars. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun. – Thurs. and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fri. and Sat. Adult admission is $10; kids 17 and under are free. For more information, call (818) 248-6600.
As increasing numbers of RV enthusiasts gravitate to social media, Go RVing finds itself in rarified company.
In June, Go RVing announced that its Facebook page had reached 100,000 followers — putting the page in an elite group of brand pages who achieved that large a following. Facebook reports only 1% of all its brand-affiliated pages reach that status.
Just three months later, Go RVing has doubled its following to over 207,000.
The biggest boost in the organic growth of the fan base is attributed to the sharing of the daily posts which average more than 300 shares per week — meaning current Go RVing followers are enjoying the posts and choosing to repost them on their walls for their friends to see.
Additionally, the current #RVTailgateSweeps has proven popular and has contributed an estimated 5,000 new followers since the partnership with Sports Illustrated and coordinating sweepstakes launched at the end of August. The sweepstakes entry form is available through an app on the Go RVing Facebook page.
“As more and more consumers opt to consume their media via digital platforms, Go RVing continues to up our game in terms of producing compelling content that consumers can both access as well as share. With this kind of growth, that recipe is clearly working,” said James Ashurst, RVIA’s vice president of advertising and public relations. “With many of Go RVing’s Facebook posts also linking to our Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter properties, the viral nature of digital marketing is putting Go RVing’s message in front of more consumers and potential buyers.”
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Board of Directors named the Executive Committee for fiscal year 2014 and approved a budget for the same time period during its meeting on September 25 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
As noted by an RVIA release, all current officers were re-elected to their posts by the Board of Directors. Doug Gaeddert, general manager, Forest River, Inc., will continue as Chairman of the Board and will be joined by First Vice Chairman Derald Bontrager, president and COO, Jayco, Inc.; Second Vice Chairman Bob Parish, vice president, GE Capital; Treasurer Garry Enyart, director, RV Business, Cummins Power Generation; and Secretary Matt Miller, president, Newmar Corp. Chairman Ex Officio Gregg Fore, president, Dicor Corp., and RVIA President Richard Coon will also serve on the Executive Committee.
In other actions, the Board approved a $13.7M association budget for FY14; approved holding a Spring California RV Show from March 12 – 16, 2014, at the Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, Calif.; and appointed Martin Street, president and CEO, Stag-Parkway Inc., to the RVDA-RVIA Certification Governing Board.
College football fans take note: The Sports Illustrated (SI) On Campus Tailgate Tour presented by the Go RVing Coalition rolls into Norman, Okla., this weekend for the TCU-Oklahoma college football game Saturday, Oct. 5.
The tour kicked off at the Syracuse-Penn State game at MetLife Stadium in New York before heading to West Lafayette, Ind., for the Indiana State-Purdue University game. According to a release from the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), last weekend football fans found the tour in Corvallis, Ore., for the Oregon State-University of Colorado rivalry.
Featuring a Winnebago Adventurer Class A motorhome and a Keystone RV travel trailer as the centerpieces, the tour is a high-impact, onsite consumer event that showcases RVs as ideal tailgate vehicles — and provide fans the opportunity to tour the units. Several thousand consumers have toured the two units through the first half of the tour.
There are also other fan-engagement activities, including tailgate cooking competitions, games and giveaways, and autograph and photo opportunities with Sports Illustrated personalities and college football alumni. Videos are being shot at each stop and aired on SI.com website properties.
The tour is also scheduled to hit the Florida-LSU game in Baton Rouge, La., on Oct. 12, and the Auburn-Texas A&M game in College Station, Texas, on Oct. 19.
An online sweepstakes is also part of the tour with the grand prize winner awarded a 2014 Keystone travel trailer featuring an outdoor kitchen that is perfect for tailgating and camping. The sweepstakes runs through Nov. 29.