The 2012 Southwest RV Supershow reported the best attendance of any edition in the past decade matched by robust dealer sales, according to the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association (TRVA) which annually hosts the event.
“We believe that the collaboration of dealers, manufacturers, suppliers, parks and services, including flexible on-site bank financing, all contributed to attracting a record crowd to the show,” said Clark McEwen, executive director of the TRVA.
Held Sept. 13-16 at the Dallas Market Hall, the event represents “the largest fall RV show in Texas,” according to McEwen, adding that the show attracts RV buyers from across Texas and the surrounding states.
According to industry sources, Texas is one of the three largest RV markets in the country. “We had a record show for the second year in a row,” said Ed Wilkins, TRVA show chairman. This says something about our Texas economy and the growing interest and affordability of the family RV lifestyle.
“This annual convergence of North Texas’ best dealers at the Market Center to introduce their new (2013) product line and show remaining prior-year stock – all at special show pricing – is a unique consumer opportunity.”
Dealers participating in this year’s show included Ancira Travel Villa, Best Value RV, Explore USA RV, Fun Town RV, Holiday World of Dallas, May’s RV, McClain’s RV, Motor Home Specialist, National Indoor RV Center, Nichols RV Center, Professional Sales RV, RV-Max, Traylor Motor Homes , United Recreation Center, Vogt Motor Homes and Western Campers.
The 2013 Southwest RV Supershow will be held at Dallas Market Hall in mid-September. For more information contact Mary Claire Campos with the TRVA at (512) 327-4514.
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Hundreds of RVs are on display this week at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio during the South Texas RV Supersale. Six local dealers brought about 300 units with them this year, parking the RVs both inside the coliseum and out in the parking lot.
“It’s a good time for our industry, the economy is coming back and we expect a very, very, very good show this year,” said Clark McEwen, the executive director of the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association (TRVA).
A good show means lots of sales, and dealers were already pitching potential buyers. Some were first timers, while others were long-time RV owners like Dawn Powers.
“We’re here just to see if we’re interested in upgrading what we already have,” said Powers.
Powers had plenty to choose from, with price tags ranging from about $6,000 to $100,006. And if attendees are looking for something really luxurious, they can tour a 42-foot Itasca motorhome with all the amenities of a residential home that runs about $320,000.
Although the larger motorhomes generally get poor gas mileage, McEwen argued that it’s still the cheapest way to vacation. Dawn Powers agreed.
“When you really compute it out on a day to day basis, it’s just as cheap to do it in an RV,” said Powers.
Clark McEwen, executive director of the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association (TRVA), the trade association for Texas RV Dealers, announced that several South Texas dealers will come together to bring an annual RV Super Show and Super Sale back to San Antonio. The show will be managed by TRVA.
According to a news release, the South Texas RV Super Sale will be held at the Joe Freeman Coliseum–Exposition Hall Jan. 5-8. Participating dealers in the event RV include Ancira RV of Boerne, Camping World of San Antonio, Crestview RV Superstore, ExploreUSA RV, San Antonio, and Ron Hoover RV from Boerne.
The release stated that the show “represents a new chapter in the South Texas RV industry as multiple local RV dealers join forces to present and promote this sale.” The last exclusive RV show held in San Antonio was in 2007.
“We are thrilled to be able to produce this show in association with the outstanding and well-established RV dealers in the San Antonio area,” said McKewen. “Our focus is totally on the family and the benefits of RVing. This will be an exceptional show for the beginner, anyone that is interested in learning more about RVing, or the experienced RVer. Special pricing, financing and insurance will all be available as well as participation from the Texas Parks and Wildlife and other industry related entities.”
There will be over 200 RV’s of all shapes and sizes – from the basic towable that can be purchased for as little as $129 per month to beautiful motorhomes that sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. McKewen said the show is the only place in South Texas that consumers will be able to see dozens of manufacturers represented in one location.
“We believe that the RV industry is a bellwether for the rest of the nation’s economy and are very encouraged by the growth in our industry over the past two years,” said McKewen. “The RV business is experiencing one of its best years in 2011 as a result of increasing numbers of families and retirees are choosing Rving over traditional travel.”
The show will feature special pricing for all active duty military and RV Club members. In addition, children under the age of 15 are free. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
For more information, please see http://www.SOUTHTEXASRVSUPERSALE.com or contact Wayne Walker at email@example.com. Interested vendors should contact Mary Claire Campos, Director of Special Events for the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association at 512-327-6072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The theme for this year’s convention is “Reaping Benefits and Harvesting Success.” About 200 TRVA members representing RV dealerships, manufacturers and suppliers and the campground industry are expected to attend. The convention will be held at the Westin Riverwalk.
Victor T. Vandergriff, who led the lobbying effort to create the new state agency independent of the Texas Department of Transportation and now heads the new agency as chairman, will be the featured speaker at Sunday night’s President’s Banquet.
Also appearing at the convention will be Ed Serna, executive director of the new agency, and Carol Kent, interim director of the agency’s enforcement division.
“These three people are the most key people in the state of Texas involving the RV industry,” said Clark McEwen, TRVA executive director.
TRVA lobbied extensively in the 2009 session of the Texas Legislature to get motor vehicles out of TexDOT and handled by an independent agency like the new Texas DMV.
“We think once everything is up and running, the concerns our industries have will be addressed more efficiently and quicker by a stand-alone agency,” McEwen said.
Vandergriff formerly served as vice president of V.T. Inc. and Automotive Investment Group, the largest private retail automotive group in the United States. Vandergriff was involved as an owner, dealer and executive manager in the automobile industry for more than 25 years. He and his family have owned and operated automobile dealerships for more than 80 years in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
The convention will feature two panel discussions of industry experts. The first will focus on retail store/merchandising, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department update and “Red Flag” and compliance issues. The second will focus on the new agency as well as on parts and service issues.
Other speakers include Terry Cooper, ‘The Texas RV Professor,” and Walter Preble, a former Kampgrounds of America Inc. executive and now an innovative KOA campground operator in Rusk, Texas.
Roundtable discussions following the panel discussions are open-ended and tend to focus on “hot button” issues of the day.
For the first time, TRVA will honor member RV parks and campgrounds with awards going to the top small, medium and large parks of the year.
An auction, sponsors’ trade show, golf and poker tournaments and other awards also are scheduled for the convention, for which McEwen said he expects an upbeat mood at this year’s convention.
“We’re affected by the downturn like everybody else,” he said. “But we’re fortunate in Texas our economy has weathered better. The 2008-2009 downturn drained the reserves of a lot of dealerships but everybody is enthusiastic now. Are we where we want to be? No. But the vast majority are happy they’re in Texas.”
About 150 people are registered for the 36th annual Texas Recreational Vehicle Association (TRVA) Membership Convention, which starts Saturday and runs through Monday at the Hyatt Regency Townlake in Austin, Texas.
The convention theme is “Committed to Excellence,” which the 400-plus member trade group — encompassing RV dealers, manufacturers, suppliers, park owners and service firms — has been focusing on during the difficult economic downturn and looks to in the coming year.
“Texas faces the same issues every state faces,” Clark McEwen, TRVA executive director, told RVBUSINESS.com. “Our dealers are hurting, as they have seen diminished sales and for that reason, Texas is in no better shape than any other state in the country. But we will pull through this in better shape than we thought we would six months ago. There are tough days still ahead but the vast majority of our dealers will weather this storm.”
It was confirmed recently that late in 2008, Texas overtook perennial leader California as the No. 1 wholesale market for RVs in the U.S., with a 7.2% market share, edging out the Golden State which finished the year with a 6.1% share, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Coupled with this market recognition is what McEwen called the “fifth straight very successful legislative session” in the Texas Legislature earlier this year. TRVA, recognized as the most influential state RV trade association in the country, was successful on a number of key issues. Among them, TRVA was able to:
- Increase state documentation fees from $50 to $100, the first such increase in 17 years.
- Strengthen the state’s franchise laws.
- Re-establish the Motor Vehicle Board, separate from the Texas Department of Transportation.
Convention organizers will see some new faces at this weekend’s convention.
“We’re seeing more first-time attendees than I’ve seen in a long, long time,” said Mary Claire Campos, TRVA special events director. “People are interested in what’s going on in the industry. I’m also seen a lot of folks who haven’t come for several years coming back. We’re trying to keep everything positive and upbeat. Just by having new blood at the convention will rejuvenate a lot fo this.”
TRVA has brought together several prominent industry representatives to take part in a panel discussion on current trends in the industry. Panelist include Mark Beecher, national sales and marketing manager for the Consumer Finance Group at Bank of the West; Ed Wilkins, president and CEO of Diversified Insurance Management; Brian Schaeffer, executive director of the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO); Don Clark, president of Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc.; and Clark Chandler, sales consultant for the Southern Region with NTP Distribution.
Bob Ash is the keynote speaker at the awards luncheon on Sunday.
Industry updates on the parks segment will be provided by McWilliams and Associates and TACO’s Brian Schaeffer.
The Lester Pomykal Memorial Poker Tournament and a golf tournament also are scheduled.
The event concludes with the annual business meeting and election of officers Monday morning.