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.
Shipments to retailers of all RVs products were reported at 24,995 units in the August survey of manufacturers, 2.2% greater than the same month a year ago, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported Monday (Sept. 30).
Although towables were off a marginal 1.4% from August of 2012, motorhomes more than made up the difference finishing ahead of this month last year by 34.5% — for the best August total since 2007, nearly 50% greater than August of 2008.
Year to date, RV shipments have reached 226,125 units through August and represent an annualized pace of more than 310,000 units. All RV product categories except folding camping trailers have improved this year, with conventional travel trailers growing by the most units and Class C motorhomes tallying the largest percentage gain.
In a nutshell, U.S. RV manufacturers through August shipped:
• .3% more travel trailers for the month and 11.4% more than 2013 for the first eight months for a year-to-date total of 140,318 units.
• 3.9% fewer fifth-wheels for August, a 6.6% YTD gain for a total of 49,242 units.
• 9.1% fewer folding camping trailers than 2012 for the month and 3.3% fewer YTD for the year. Total: 8,475 units.
• 23.5% fewer truck campers for the month, up 1% YTD to 2,466 units.
• 31.7% more Class A motorhomes in August for a YTD gain of 33% to 12,399 units.
• .6% fewer Class B van campers for August, resulting in a 2.2% YTD gain on total shipments of 1,453 units.
• 45% more Class C motorhomes in August, leading to a 42.8% YTD improvement over 2012 on shipments of 11,772 units.
With the RV market on the rise, industry representatives will look to keep the momentum going at the 51st National RV Trade Show, scheduled for Dec. 3-5 at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) in Louisville, Ky.
According to a report in the latest issue of RVIA Today, the industry’s premier trade event is expected to draw 8,000 RV industry executives, including RV dealers, warehouse distributors, accessory store owners, campground operators and manufacturer and supplier exhibitor personnel. The latest model RVs, innovative products and business-improving services will be showcased in exhibits from 59 manufacturer and 210 supplier companies stretching across 715,950 square feet of exhibit space.
The National RV Trade Show will kick off with RVIA’s popular opening program, “Outlook 2014: Everywhere,” taking place from 7:30-9 a.m. in the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) South Wing Ballroom. The show will also feature informative seminars to help attendees boost business.
• “Selling Has Nothing To Do With Selling” from Richard Farrell, president of Tangent Knowledge Systems on Dec. 4, from 8–9 a.m. The seminar will examine the way customers buy, select suppliers, build relationships, and view sales people in a market dramatically changed by the internet and offer strategies to succeed in this new environment. Farrell is an internationally recognized sales training and development consultant who has been featured in many media outlets, including NBC, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, INC, and Businessweek.
• “Increasing Your Sales Power to New Levels of Excellence” from Jerry Teplitz, president of Jerry Teplitz Enterprises takes place on Dec. 5, from 8–9 a.m. Teplitz will share actual tools and techniques that can be applied immediately to all aspects of professional life to boost energy levels resulting in more productivity, creativity and sales. Teplitz is an accomplished speaker and author, who along with co-author Tony Alessandra wrote a No. 1 best-seller on Amazon – Switched-On Selling: Balance Your Brain for Sales Success. The seminars will take place in the Second Floor Arena Concourse Ballroom. The cost for each session is $50 in advance or $60 on-site and includes breakfast. For more information, contact Huyen Deng in RVIA’s Shows department at (703) 620-6003, ext. 305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National RV Trade Show also offers attendees the opportunity to learn about a various industry resources available to them. Industry members can visit the Go RVing booth to learn more about how to tie into the highly successful “AWAY” national advertising campaign at the local level in the upcoming year.
Information about RV technician certification and training opportunities is available at the RVIA Education booth. For more information about the National RV Trade Show, including the availability of show space, call RVIA’s Show Department at (703) 620-6003, ext. 365.
Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) members elected eight representatives to the board in the association elections that took place in August.
In the election for two manufacturer seats, Matt Miller, president, Newmar Corp., was reelected to a three-year term while Bob Martin, CEO, Thor Industries Inc., was newly elected to the board for a three-year term as well.
Incumbents Adam Dexter, president and CEO, Dexter Axle Co., and B.J. Thompson, president, B.J. Thompson Associates, were reelected to the board as supplier members for three-year terms. Martin Street, president and CEO, Stag-Parkway Inc., was also elected to a three-year term in a supplier seat.
The election for two at-large representatives saw incumbents Bob Harbin, president and CEO, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., and Bob Parish, vice president, GE Capital, hold onto their seats for three-year terms. Dick Grymonprez, director of park model sales, Champion/Athens Park Homes, was also reelected as a Park Model RV representative for a three-year term.
The RVIA board elections took place from Aug. 5-28 with official representatives from member companies casting their votes electronically through an on-line ballot. Those elected to the board begin serving their terms on Oct. 1. The RVIA board has the highest level of authority in the association’s organizational structure and is responsible for association matters on a broad policy basis.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Standards and Education department is in the process of creating an online, controlled-access technical library that will be available to participating technicians, invited subject matter experts, and others.
According to a press release, the focus is now on populating the online library with the Recreation Vehicle Service Training Council (RVST) Standard 2011 edition serving as the index for the collected technical information. RVIA has hired an RVST librarian to specifically find wanted technical information, but 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.
“This program has been under development and we are finally at the point where we are recruiting members to participate,” said Sharonne Lee, RVIA’s director of technical information. “With a dedicated librarian that can lead this activity, we believe this library will evolve to become an important tool for our industry’s service technicians.”
In addition to the technical library, RVIA is also developing a one-year pilot program aimed at working directly with service technicians at their employment locations to boost the awareness of and participation in industry technician training and certification programs. This program is scheduled to be in place by October 2013.
Two in-field representatives — one in the Northwest to cover Washington, Oregon, and Idaho and one in the South Central to cover Texas and Louisiana — will collect contact information at dealerships, learn the training that each tech has received to date, and work with the service managers to determine what the technician training needs. Service training will be coordinated with RVIA supplier 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.
“Remember the old days when the RV industry had slow times during certain times of the year? That is no longer the case,” says Bruce Hopkins, RVIA vice president of standards and education. “The industry is extremely busy throughout the year now, and new ways have to be found to get the RVST training to the dealerships. We think offering training on site is the way to go.”
He added, “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.”
Fifty-eight manufacturers and 190 suppliers were assigned display space totaling 711,649 square feet for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 51st Annual National RV Trade Show during the annual space drawing held July 19 at association headquarters in Reston, Va.
According to a press release, the total represents an increase over the 706,503 square feet of exhibit space assigned at the same time last year.
In the manufacturer category, park model builder Canterbury RV drew the first assignment, followed by Fleetwood RV Inc.
Dometic Corp. drew first in the supplier exceptional use category. First draws also went to Fleming Sales in the 6-11 standard booth category and RV Web Services in the 1-5 standard booth category.
Exhibit space assignment was completed by using a lottery system established by RVIA. Joe Morales of Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. attended and audited the lottery as exhibitor representatives.
The National RV Trade Show is scheduled for Dec. 3-5 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
Limited exhibit space is still available for the show. For manufacturer space, contact Mike Hutya, vice president of meetings and shows at (800) 336-0154, ext. 332. For supplier space, contact Kelly Smith at ext. 365.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is allowing free access for a limited time to the Propane Systems section of the RV Service Technician Certification Prep Course as part of a research study about the impact of self-paced online instructional learning.
According to a press release, eligible RV service technicians will complete the course covering certification preparation material about propane systems in RVs and then participate in the research project to investigate the impact of persuasive instructional strategies on learner performance in self-paced online courses. Those interested in participating can visit http://RVST.remote-learner.net and select the “Study Consent and Qualification” link to open an account, review the informed consent details, and confirm eligibility to enroll in this study program.
RV service technicians eligible to participate in the program are:
• Technicians preparing for certification.
• Technicians considering enrolling in the RV Service Technician Certification Prep Course.
• Previously certified (expired) technicians.
RV service technicians excluded from the program include those that are:
• Currently certified technicians.
• Previous RV Service Technician Certification Prep Course enrollees.
• Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) RV Service Technician Certification Prep Course enrollees.
• Canadian RV service technicians.
Upon providing consent to participate in the study, technicians will be enrolled in the Propane Systems course. It is estimated that the course will take 3-5 hours to complete and technicians will have 30 days from the start date to revisit the course or finish all activities. Participation in this project is completely voluntary and the only direct benefit will be the knowledge gained through the course. Any decision to participate or not to participate in the study should not impact your employment in any way.
The findings of the study will influence the design and delivery of online courses and provide new and effective knowledge to instructional designers looking to implement and research the use of persuasive instructional strategies. This study is being conducted by Christine Page Chen and supervised by faculty member Rodrick Sims from Capella University, as a part of her doctoral dissertation requirements. All collected data will be used for academic publications only. No personal information will be disclosed during or after the dissemination process.