Officials of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) have agreed to return their largest annual trade show to the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) in Louisville, Ky., through 2015, with renewal options through 2019.
As reported by the Courier-Journal, RVIA’s National RV Trade Show is one of only five shows that use all 1.2 million square feet of the center’s exhibit space. It usually draws more than 12,000 attendees and generates nearly $8 million in local economic impact.
The 2013 trade show is scheduled for Dec. 3-5 at the center. The 50th anniversary event in 2012 drew 68 manufacturers and 235 suppliers displaying the latest recreational vehicles and related products. Attendees included dealers, warehouse distributors, accessory store owners and campground operators.
The show, which has been in Louisville for nearly 30 consecutive years, is not open to the public. For information, go to www.rvia.org.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) partnered with Kim Orlando, founder and editor of the popular TravelingMom.com website, for a satellite media tour that focused attention on the growing trend of seasonal camping in media markets nationwide.
Broadcasting from the Mystic KOA in Mystic, Conn., Orlando was interviewed by 20 television, radio and internet media outlets, in markets such as Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Tampa, Miami and Phoenix.
She shared with the audiences how non-RV owners can get a taste of the RV lifestyle by renting a park model or other towable RVs to enjoy a campground experience even if they do not yet own an RV or a tow vehicle. She also explained how more RVers are now seasonal campers, leaving their units at their favorite campground for the summer to enjoy frequent, convenient getaways, and provided a tour of a Forest River Cardinal fifth-wheel as an example of the seasonal camping RV lifestyle. Every interview included tips on getting started and pushed to GoRVing.com as a resource.
“We are delighted with the coverage this tour provided,” said Matt Wald, RVIA’s executive director of park model RVs. “It was timed to coincide with National Camping Week to generate media interest. Additionally, Kim Orlando was a great host who authentically endorses the park model and RV experience. She brings instant credibility as one of the nation’s top travel bloggers with family travel as her expertise.”
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 2012 Industry Profile, which provides a statistical portrait of RV production and sales from last year, has been published and is now available to the industry.
According to a press release, the publication offers a detailed look at RV production and shipment statistics, including historical comparisons of shipment figures and dollar volume as well as production breakdowns by product type and shipment destination.
Key findings from the 2012 Industry Profile include:
• Wholesale RV shipments reached their highest annual level since 2007 at 285,700 units, a 13.2% increase over the previous year.
• The total retail value of those shipments neared $11 billion ($10.8 billion), a 20% increase over the $9.03 billion total in 2011.
• Indiana continues to lead the country in RV production, manufacturing 83% off all RVs in the U.S.
• Texas is the top destination for RV shipments, receiving 8% of the total. California (5.87%), Michigan (4.98%), Florida (3.52%) and New York (3.19%) round out the top five.
• An analysis of the production highlights and a demographic profile of the RV consumer are also included in the publication.
A copy of the 2012 Industry Profile was sent to all RVIA members. Additional copies for members as well as industry contacts are available through the publications store at www.rvia.org.
Beginning July 1, the cost of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) seal for manufacturer members will decrease from $17 to $16 each.
The RVIA board authorized the seal price reduction at its meeting on March 4 during the association’s Annual Meeting. The new $16 seal fee will apply to all member manufacturer vehicle types. The Go RVing per unit assessment remains unchanged at the current levels of $46 for folding camping trailers and truck campers; $61 for travel trailers and fifth-wheel travel trailers; and $74 for motorhomes.
This marks the sixth decrease in the seal fee since it was temporarily raised to $35 in July 2009 by the RVIA board to address growing pressure on the association’s budget caused by the reduction in show and dues income caused by the downturn in the general economy. This action helped avoid further program cuts and severe service reductions that would have compromised RVIA’s mission to promote and protect the interest of the association’s membership and the RV industry.
The table below details the new fee structure for the RVIA seal:
A coalition led by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and the National Park Hospitality Association (NPHA) and joined by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is asking National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis to increase entrance fees in parks that now charge them and to expand such fees into parks that don’t have them, National Parks Traveler reported.
Doing so, they argue, would provide the National Park Service with greater revenues as the agency moves into its second century beginning in 2016.
In a letter sent to the director earlier this month, the groups urge Director Jarvis to implement proposals outlined earlier this year at a conference they organized in Washington.
Also supporting the call for higher fees are the American Hiking Society, the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the National Tour Association, the Southeast Tourism Society and the Western States Tourism Policy Council.
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For the 14th straight year, Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) spokespersons Brad and Amy Herzog will hit the road in June to “put a friendly face on the the RV lifestyle” in local media markets. According to a press release, this year’s two-month media tour has the Herzogs traveling to cities in the Midwest and Southeast.
The RV industry’s “Explore America Family” will be traveling in a motorhome provided by Winnebago Industries Inc. featuring the type of amenities that appeal to consumers and are fueling the growth in motorhome sales.
The Herzogs provide an accessible example of an RVing family. At each stop, they deliver messages of family togetherness, health and wellness benefits of RV travel, and the freedom, fun and flexibility offered by RV travel. They emphasize that RVing is a convenient way to travel, and that it’s a great option for young families with children.
The 60-day tour launches June 19 in Terre Haute, Ind., and includes stops in Nashville, Tenn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; Charleston, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Norfolk, Va.; Richmond, Va.; Washington, D.C.; Louisville, Ky.; Indianapolis; and Milwaukee, Wis.
RV wholesale shipments to retailers continued to rise in February this year, growing 6% above last month and were 6% ahead of this same month last year on shipments of 26,120 units. This was the best February total since 2008 with nearly all vehicle categories participating in the improvement. February’s shipments pushed the year-to-date total to 50,499 units, a 16.6% gain over the first two months last year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, February shipments were at an annual rate of more than 300,000 units. Year-to-date, the seasonal rate represented more than 320,000 units annualized.
Jon Tancredi, who served the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) for the past 20 years as a public relations professional with Barton Gilanelli & Associates and more recently as president of Tancredi Public Relations, passed away Tuesday (March 12).
Tancredi, 46, was a member of the Association of Marketing Professionals, Philadelphia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) , International Association of Business Communicators and adjunct professor, upper level PR courses, Temple University. He served on the boards of various community and youth organizations in Haverford, Pa., including youth football and cheerleading.
“Jon played a crucial role in our industry’s successful public relations effort for two decades,” said RVIA President Richard Coon in a press release. “He was a consummate professional who worked diligently and creatively behind the scenes to engineer high-level media coverage and publicity that transformed the image of RVing. But more than that, he was a great friend who was beloved and respected by our staff, our members, and his many, many friends in the RV industry. We will miss Jon and offer our prayers and condolences to his family and friends.”
“Jon was incredibly dedicated to serving the RV industry, and his tireless effort and professionalism in espousing the virtues of the RV lifestyle earned him the respect of numerous writers and producers across all forms of media,” said James Ashurst, vice president of public relations and advertising, RVIA and Go RVing. “His passion and spirit extended well beyond our industry, as he was equally dedicated to his family, friends and community. His energy, professionalism and friendship will be truly missed by everyone here, and our deepest sympathies go out to his loved ones.”
BJ Thompson, president of BJ Thompson Associates and chairman of RVIA’s Public Relations Committee, added, “In leading the PR Committee for more than 25 years, I had the pleasure of working with Jon and seeing first-hand the incredible impact he had in moving the RV industry forward. Jon was not only an accomplished media relations expert, but a trusted friend that I and many manufacturers and suppliers had the pleasure of working with over the years. The industry has lost a true champion, and my heartfelt sympathies go out to his family.”
“Over the years, Jon got to know many dealers and worked hard to put the national and local media spotlight on RVs and RV travel,” said Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) President Phil Ingrassia. “We are deeply saddened by his passing. We will miss his enthusiasm and dedication to working on behalf of everyone in the RV business.”
Tancredi is survived by his wife, Katherine B. (nee Beck) Tancredi, son, Jack Owen Tancredi, daughter, Jenna Grace Tancredi and a new baby due April 4.; parents Lou and Maureen Tancredi, Katherine’s parents, Barbara and Jeff Morgan, and John L. Beck and Donald Longhurst; siblings Tony Tancredi of Texas, Louis Tancredi of Florida, Maria (John) Zerr of Texas, Steve Tancredi of Maryland, Anne (Alex) Lenicky of Furlong, Pa., Michael Tancredi of Media, Susan (Dale) Waters of Maryland, Shaun Miller of Westtown, Michael (Carolyn) Miller of East Goshen and many adoring nieces and nephews.
Callings are scheduled at the Carr Funeral Home, 935 S. Providence Rd. (Rt. 320) in Wallingford, Pa., on March 15 from 6-8 p.m. and March 16 at Grace Chapel 1, West Eagle Rd., Havertown, from 9-10 a.m. Service is at 10 a.m. Private contributions to The Tancredi Baby Fund c/o TD Bank 120 W. Eagle Rd. Havertown, PA 19083 would be appreciated.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 2013 Annual Meeting, March 4-7 in Orlando, Fla., provided a fast-paced look at the national trade association’s affairs and at the industry the Reston, Va.-based association represents. And the picture as presented this past week was a positive one in most every respect, as Chairman Doug Gaeddert, a general manager for Elkhart, Ind.-based Forest River Inc., pointed out in his Tuesday (March 5) Membership Meeting remarks.
“Last year, when we were together in Palm Springs, the RV market was continuing its ascent out of the abyss of 2008 and 2009,” Gaeddert told the members at the outset of his comments. “2011 year-end shipments had grown by 4% over 2010 totals. Shipments in early 2012 were running about 10% over the previous year, and projections put shipments at 265,000 units by the end of 2012.
“As we continued through 2012, the RV market built even greater momentum, ending the year at 285,750 units – a gain of 13% over 2011 and 20,000 units higher than the spring forecast,” added Gaeddert. “And the momentum keeps building. Through the early months of 2013, shipments are continuing to rise and there are outstanding reports from shows and dealerships throughout the U.S. and Canada of elevated attendance, exceptional sales results and high overall consumer interest in RV ownership.”
Current forecasts are calling for shipments exceeding 307,000 units by year’s end, added Gaeddert, noting that would be the highest annual total since 2007 and one of the best “storm adjusted” years in recent history.
Behind the upswing, Gaeddert surmised, are continued gains in household wealth due to an improving stock market and rising home values plus modest gains in income and employment. Another factor is improved credit availability and terms, as the number of companies participating in the wholesale and retail RV credit markets rises.
In other Annual Meeting business:
• RVIA President Richard Coon presented a detailed glimpse of membership and shipment trends over the past few years, while RVIA’s Vice President of Administration Mac Bryan provided a detailed look at the association’s finances indicating that the trade group, along with most of its members, has taken a big step forward from the brink of the recession.
• RVIA Vice President of Public Relations and Advertising James Ashurst offered an update on the association’s PR program as well as the Go RVing Coalition’s initial 2013 campaign.
• American Recreation Coalition (ARC) President Derrick Crandall touched on the latest issues with regard to outdoor recreation on federal lands.
• Seminars included “A Campground Outlook” from Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers; “An Economic Outlook” with Lowell Catlett, dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University; and a panel discussion on “Succeeding in Today’s RV Market” with Mark Beecher, Bank of the West, Phil Ingrassia, president of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), Bob Martin, Thor Industries Inc., Bill Osborne, Navistar RV and Martin Street, Stag-Parkway Inc.
• A dinner crowd saluted Past Chairman Gregg Fore, president of Dicor Corp., an Elkhart, Ind.-based RV industry supplier, at a Chairman’s Reception and Dinner.
• The association’s executive committee met prior to the week’s general agenda, while the association’s Strategic Planning Committee also sat down prior to the kickoff of the Annual Meeting.
Rogers, meanwhile, urged the recreational vehicle sector to work more closely in the future with the accommodations component of the industry, the RV parks and campgrounds. Focusing on “mutual objectives,” he pointed out, could go a long way toward “nurturing this industry in ways it has not been” in the past.
“Just being invited today by Richard to participate with you has reminded me that I’ve been back at KOA for 13 years and this is the first time that I’ve actually had the opportunity to talk to RVIA,” said Rogers, a former Harrah’s executive from Reno in his address during the Membership Meeting. “It’s a pleasure to be here and to see so many familiar faces.”
The bottom line from Rogers: There’s a big market out there in North America’s campgrounds, many of whom are camping in tents, to which a marketing-minded RV industry ought to look for growth.
“Well, we have an audience out there that are already staying outdoors, and they’re at my campgrounds,” said Rogers. “And they’re your prospects — the people that probably have a greater livelihood of buying an RV because they’re already in the outdoor lifestyle.”
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) series of 2013 Trouble Shooter Clinics kicks off Jan. 28–31 in Loveland, Colo., according to a press release. With limited space available, RVIA is encouraging service technicians to register early for the clinic.
RVIA’s revised Trouble Shooter Clinic curriculum now offers participants more class time, smaller class sizes and expanded hands-on training in a track-oriented format focusing on four specialty areas. The track schedule for the upcoming clinic is:
• Foundation/Plumbing (Jan 29 – 31/$480 per person) – The session will cover propane, pre-delivery inspection, preventative maintenance, customer care, fire and life safety, basic electricity, water distribution and monitoring systems, and pumps.
• Power Sources (Jan. 29 – 31/$480 per person) – This session will examine generators, converters, power systems, batteries, inverters and transfer switches, energy management systems and RV-C.
• Appliances (Jan. 28 – 31/$640 per person) – Water heaters, air conditioning and heating units, refrigerators and furnaces will be the focus of this session.
• Running Gear, Hydraulics, Slide-outs and Towing (Jan. 29 – 30/$320 per person) – This session focuses on running gear, axles, hydraulics, slideouts, towing and hitches.
Trouble Shooter Clinic participants attend one track at a time and need to complete the Foundation/Plumbing track, or be a certified RV Service technician, before taking the other track offerings.
Those completing the Trouble Shooter Clinic are eligible for a 10% discount on any RV service technician certification testing if taken within 90 days of the clinic.
In addition to the upcoming Trouble Shooter Clinic in Colorado, other 2013 sessions will be held in Orange County, Calif., from Feb. 18-21; South Bend, Ind., from March 25-28; Tampa, Fla., set for Aug. 5-8, tentatively: and Calgary, Alberta from Nov. 4-7.
Contact RVIA’s Education Department at (703) 620-6003, ext. 355 or visit www.rvia.org/?ESID=tsclinics to register or for more information.
A special nightly room rate of $129 is available at the Embassy Suites in Loveland for the upcoming clinic. This rate includes complimentary parking, cooked-to-order breakfast and a nightly reception. Call (800) 362-2779 to reserve and mention “RVIA Trouble Shooter Clinic” by this Friday, Jan. 11 to take advantage of the special rate.