North America’s RV Industry Association (RVIA) has published its highlights of 2018, which it says was a year of change and progress.
January – Launch of new annual event – ‘RVX: The RV Experience’
At the start of 2018, the RVIA’s Board of Directors decided a completely newapproach was needed for the industry’s national event. Over the past decade, the Open House had established itself as the premier buying event, while the National RV Trade Show had not successfully redefined its purpose. It was clear the industry no longer needed multiple buying-focused shows and the time to redefine RVIA’s event had come. Instead, the Board of Directors directed the RVIA to focus and combine all efforts on launching a single, new and fully reimagined event in the spring of 2019.
The new RVIA’s national RV trade show, RVX: The RV Experience, will be held onMarch 12-14, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
June – RVIA hosts largest advocacy day to date
At its annual Advocacy Day, when the RVIA Government Affairs Team organizes for some members to visit Capitol Hill to have meetings with members of Congress, their staff and Administration officials with the aim of creating a favourable business environment for the RV industry, to protest against onerous legislation and make it easier for consumers to buy, drive and own an RV. The 2018 Advocacy Day was its biggest one ever, with 120 members holding 170 meetings.
June – multi-million dollar investment in new RV Technical Institute announced to address owner satisfaction
The RVIA launched a comprehensive strategic plan and multi-million-dollar investment to address RV owner satisfaction by creating a supporting foundation, the RV Technical Institute (RVTI), to solve the RV industry’s shortage of trained technicians and to implement metrics to track the RV customer experience.
The newly formed RVTI has a headquarters and training facility in the Elkhart, Indiana area, where it implements a comprehensive RECT (Repair Event Cycle Times) reduction initiative, as well as a recruitment campaign to attract new technicians into the RV industry.
Critical to this plan was the immediate creation of world-class RV technician training curriculum at the heart of training, credentialing, and providing proficient RV technicians to the RV industry. An initial $10 million-dollar seed fund has been set up for the RVTI training centre and kicks-off an aggressive three-year implementation of technician training accreditation, curriculum and credentialing, delivery, marketing and tech recruiting/placement as well as repair event cycle time reduction.
June – Results of a study confirm families save money when owning and using RVs compared to other types of holidays
A study commissioned by Go RVing and the RVIA, conducted by the CBRE Hotels Advisory Group, found that RV holidays cost less than other types of vacation travel, even when factoring in fuel prices and the cost of RV ownership.
According to the study, and the RV Industry Association, there are cost savings of 21-64 per cent for a four-person travel party, while a two-person travel party saves 8-53 percent, depending on factors such as the type of RV and type of vacation.
The study compared different methods of travel. The type A motorhome, typically the largest and most luxurious RV, was compared to travel options such as flying first class, renting a premium car, staying in upscale hotels/resorts, and eating meals in restaurants. RV vacations show a clear family budget benefit over other forms of travel, regardless of the RV type. According to the CBRE study, a four-person travel party can expect to save (by unit type):
camping trailer: 50-64%
Lightweight travel trailer: 31-50%
Compact motorhome: 31-50%
Type C motorhome: 21-43%
Type A motorhome – 41%
Researchby Go RVing and the RV Industry Association shows that when fuel prices are higher, RVers save on fuel costs by driving fewer miles, taking trips closer tohome, and staying longer in one destination.
July – RV industry represented at the White House’s ‘Made In America’ product showcase
The White House hosted its 2nd annual ‘Made in America’ product showcase in Washington, D.C. on Monday, July 23, featuring an assortment of items made in the U.S., including RVs.
The White House extended invitations to American-owned and operated companies from each of the 50 states and with the booming RV manufacturing industry in Indiana, an RV was the obvious choice to represent Indiana.
The Newmar Corporation was asked by the White House to participate at the event and it decided to take one of its best sellers – the 2019 London Aire diesel motorhome. President Trump boarded the unit and engaged in conversation with Newmar President Matt Miller and Vice President of Operations Kevin Bogan. “It was an exciting experience,” shared Miller.
“President Trump asked some great questions, was extremely friendly and made us feel at ease as if we could visit for hours. He asked about our customers, how many units we build and shared nice comments about the RV throughout his visit.”
July – GoRVing’s Unexpected series achieved 10.5 million views on social media
Adventure skier Brody Leven and photographer Adam Clark are proved to be adynamic duo across Go RVing’s social media platforms by racking up a combined 10.5 million views of their quests from their first four video episodes and series teaser. The two friends are featured in Go RVing’s Unexpected series which chronicles their adventures in four different regions of the U.S. using four different types of RVs.
August -First-ever RV aftermarket survey reveals key buying habits of RVers
In August, the RVIA released its 2018 Aftermarket Parts and Accessories Customer Survey, the first of its kind, revealing key buying habits of RVers and underlining what is most important to RV owners when shopping for parts andaccessories in stores and online. The outcome? It’s the newest and younger RVowners who are shaking up the RV aftermarket shopping arena. The survey, conducted by Cairn Consulting, showcases how these newer and younger owners made about a dozen purchases to the average owner’s six over the last two years. Cairn questioned 800 RVers who had traveled in an RV within the past year; and were heavily involved in decision-making about where to purchase aftermarket parts and accessories.
September- 2018 comprehensive RV codes and standards training tool released
The Standards Team released the 2018 edition of its in-depth comprehensive standards training test. It addresses many critical aspects of the adopted standards and provides a training tool to help production personnel maintain standards compliance.
The training tool measures proficiency in a range of disciplines including:
Fire & Life Safety (NFPA 1192 – 2018 Edition)
Heating (NFPA 1192 – 2018 Edition)
Plumbing (NFPA 1192 2018 Edition)
LV (ANSI/RVIA LV 2018 Edition)
NFPA 70 – National Electrical Code (NEC 2017 Edition)
Vehicular (NFPA 1192 2018 Edition)
Some companies use the document to supplement training courses provided in-house to technical teams while others have used the test to evaluate their internal quality control and compliance measures. Still others use specific portions such as the electrical portions to train the electrical crew.
October – Garry Enyart elected Chairman, RVIA Board of Directors
Garry Enyart, Director of Mobile Generator Sales & Coach Care at Onan/Cummins Power Generation was elected as Chairman of the RV Industry Association Board of directors for the 2019 fiscal year. Enyart has served on the board in various roles since 2005 and a member of the Executive Committee since 2013. He is also a current member of the Audit, Awards, China, Public & Legislative Affairs and Strategic Planning Committees. He is also a member of the Consumer Satisfaction Coalition, RV Service Training Council and RVDA/RVIA Certification Governing Board.
November- RV associations praise HUD rule exempting RVs from housing standards
The U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) redefined the RV exemption from manufactured housing standards and provides a critical solution to the regulatory uncertainty that has plagued RV manufacturers, dealers and campgrounds for decades.
The RV Industry Association, the RV Dealers Association and the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (along with some state associations) sent a letter to HUD urging that this rule be finalized.
The final rule defines an RV as a vehicle or vehicular structure not certified as a manufactured home, designed only for recreational use and not as a primary residence or for permanent occupancy; and is either built and certified in accordance with either NFPA 1192-15 or ANSI A119.5-15; or any vehicle which is self-propelled.
The rule also contains an additional requirement that park model RVs contain a consumer-facing notice that the manufacturer certifies that the structure is a recreational vehicle designed only for recreational use.
This rule gives RV manufacturers the critical regulatory clarity and certainty they have long sought: so long as they build to the nationally-recognized RV standards, the modern RVs they are building do not and will not fall under HUD’s jurisdiction.
The rule gives RV dealers additional critical regulatory clarity they have long sought: the proper paperwork, forms and disclosures the RV dealer needs to provide during a sales transaction are based on the design intent of the RV.
The rule also gives RV campgrounds the critical regulatory clarity and certainty that they have long sought: in many cases the business license for RV parks and campgrounds only allows them to accommodate RVs, not manufactured homes, so under the proposed rule they would be able to accommodate any unit that is certified to an RV standard without running foul of local regulations.