Dick Grymonprez, director of park model sales for Champion/Athens Park Homes, was re-elected as a Park Model RV representative for a three-year term to the board of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
He was one of eight RVIA members elected during board elections elections that took place in August, the RVIA reported.
In the election for two Manufacturer seats, Matt Miller, president, Newmar Corp., was re-elected 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, BJ Thompson Associates, were re-elected 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.
The 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, 2013.
The 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 (RVIA) is now working with producers of HGTV’s annual RV special, which has premiered on New Year’s Day for the past 13 years, for the 2014 edition of the program, which has been the cable networks highest rated special for the past several years.
According to the RVIA, filming will take place at America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, Pa., show in early September. RV manufacturers are being asked to forward information about new models, features, innovations or accessories that their company will have on display at the event to RVIA’s director of media relations at email@example.com or by calling him at (703) 620-6003, ext. 304.
While RVIA cannot guarantee your product will be featured, RVIA would like to be sure producers are aware of the newest, most innovative and interesting products our industry is making.
Wholesale shipments of all RVs continued at a torrid pace in July where manufacturers reported a total of 26,212 units for the month, an increase of 14.7% ahead of the same month one year ago, the Recreaiton Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has reported.
Conventional and fifth-wheel travel trailers and Class A and Class C motorhomes grew the most with truck campers and Class B motorhomes off slightly.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, wholesale shipments in July were at an annualized rate of more than 339,000 units, nearly 12% greater than the previous month and ahead of this same month last year by more than 14%. Through July, manufacturers have reported a total of 201,120 units shipped to retailers, up 13.1% over this same period last year.
See the complete report below.
As high profile wildfires burned public lands across the state of Colorado in June, Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), was busy putting out some fires of his own.
From his office in the Denver suburb of Centennial, Bambei couldn’t see any of those wildfires which captured media attention and prompted some well-timed damage control efforts from both ARVC and Camp Colorado, the state campground association. But he could feel the heat that some ARVC decisions – even one made before he joined the association as CEO late in 2010 – were creating.
In particular, Bambei had what he called a serious discussion around Memorial Day with Richard Coon, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), over ARVC’s decision not to provide moderate financial support for Go RVing Coalition activities. Historically, that support ranged between $50,000 and $100,000 annually and was delivered by Bambei’s predecessor, Linda Profaizer, during RVIA’s Committee Week in June each year.
“The association (ARVC) felt it needed some recognition for the contribution and that was a way to get it rather than just sending in a check,” Profaizer explained to WCM. “For several years early on, ARVC members contributed more than dealers to the program,” although the campground sector has generally been lukewarm in its support of the RV-centric Go RVing marketing campaign because of its focus on recreational vehicles. There was a feeling for a period of years that the Go RVing advertising did not adequately reflect campground settings. It reflected RVs in neutral settings.
The last check presentation came in 2010 after which time the ARVC board voted to drop such support from the ARVC budget and leave funding up to individual member parks.
Starting in 2011 and continuing in 2012, member parks could send donations to the ARVC office and a single check was written to Go RVing, usually in June. That check totaled $6,000 in 2012, Bambei said. No check had yet been written for 2013 when Bambei was interviewed by Woodall’s Campground Management on June 27.
The absence of a moderate contribution from ARVC was addressed by the RVIA behind closed doors during RVIA’s Committee Week in early June in Washington, D.C. Ahead of that, an ARVC board member alerted Bambei to RVIA’s concern, and he called Coon.
Following is Bambei’s recollection of that discussion.
“I applaud what Go RVing has meant for our industry. Anything that stokes our industry and makes our industry more relevant to the consumer is something I am in favor of,” Bambei said. “And ARVC will always support it.”
But in explaining the board’s decision in 2010, Bambei said, “What they were trying to do was push the decision for funding for Go RVing to the members within ARVC who are the direct beneficiaries of it. They are encouraged to write a check and fund it if they see value. And if not, then they don’t.
“ARVC’s role is to promote the program, which we do on our website and we are the funnel that administers the funding that comes from our members back to RVIA. What got some of the RVIA folks a bit excited was that the funding levels have dropped.”
Bambei agreed the drop in financial support is “dramatic” but quickly added, “We make decisions each day on a much more limited budget. Ours (budget) is about one tenth of what RVIA’s is. It’s a completely different dynamic for us to be able to write a big check out of our pockets for something that is a branding investment that mostly RVIA gets a benefit from. The program is geared to people who are thinking about buying an RV. Does this program necessarily translate into somebody showing up at one of our member parks? You can argue both sides of that. As we track those leads, it is the members themselves who see it more than anyone else. If they’re not seeing that, they are not compelled to write a check.”
ARVC Still Supports Go RVing
“The important thing I want to stress is, we still support Go RVing. It’s just an individual business decision by each member whether they want to support it. ARVC as an organization supports it. Our Go Camping America website is the search engine for Go RVing. We didn’t ask for any contributions to redevelop GCA’s website when we were paying for that upgrade the past year. It’s reciprocal. It’s all for the common good.”
Reviewing his discussion with Coon, Bambei concluded, “We vowed to do a better job of communicating. Speaking for myself, I haven’t done a great job of that. I invited Richard to our conference in Knoxville in November and to our ARVC Business Forum (which meets during the conference). There are a lot of things we should be cross-channeling. We will try to do that more often and do a better job of it. What’s important is, we both awoke to a mutual concern. He told me he would take our discussion back to his board and he said they wouldn’t be happy. I said I understood that. I’m just sorry it didn’t get clearly communicated back to them.”
Coon, for his part, acknowledges that he has worked to build a better dialogue recently between the recreational vehicle industry and the campground sector in the hope that the entire industry can more closely work together – something that’s never really occurred in the past. “Look, RVIA has been working over the last couple of years to build more unity with the industry, not just our sales,” Coon said.
Coon says it’s consistent with other initiatives RVIA has undertaken over the past two or three years in its effort to better unify the industry. “We've done a good job in the areas of bringing Canadian people with us so we understand the Canadian market and their needs,” he added. “We've done a good job bringing the park model people back to the association, which are a big part of the industry. But one of the elements that is missing in the big picture is the campground industry, which we haven't had a lot of communication with in the past.”
'Superior Quality Parks' Issue
Meanwhile, Bambei and ARVC did some backpedaling on a decision announced earlier this year that ARVC would assign a designation of “Superior Quality Parks” to any ARVC member park where the owners, managers or other key employees had completed certain certificates in the new Outdoor Hospitality Education Program (OHEP).
“The original designation was meant to acknowledge a park’s commitment to education and improvement through their staff,” Bambei told WCM. “We don’t want to rate parks on anything else. We leave that to others. I don’t want to be the one with white gloves that determines whether a bathroom is clean. But we have a new education program that is being heralded by the people who use it and understand it. We want to recognize parks that try to improve through that program.”
Former ARVC president David Gorin took ARVC to task when he heard about the new designation. His viewpoint appeared in his In Sites column in the June issue of WCM.
By the time that column appeared, Gorin and Bambei had already spoken and Bambei agreed the precise designation could be amended.
ARVC subsequently renamed the designation “Superior Quality Staff.”
“We have communicated the change to all the state executives, to our board, the ARVC Foundation and to all our members. Everybody seems to be satisfied,” Bambei said.
Through the midway point of 2013, RV wholesale shipments tracked by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) have climbed to 174,871 units, 12.8% higher than the same point last year, the RVIA has reported.
Motorhome shipments have jumped by 33%, rising from 19,425 units this year versus 14,576 units last year. Towable shipments have grown from 140,412 units to 155,446 units, a gain of 10.7%.
Total monthly wholesale shipments to retailers of all RVs were reported at 30,856 units in the June survey of manufacturers, an increase of 12.1% compared to this same month last year. This marked the 18th consecutive monthly total that was ahead of the same month one year earlier.
Towable RVs increased 8.7% on shipments of 27,409 units, while motorhome shipments were ahead by 48.2% on 3,447 units shipped to dealers in June. Seasonally adjusted, June’s total represented an annualized rate of 302,700 units.
The full shipment data appears below:
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.
Deliveries to retailers of all RVs totaled 32,539 units in the May survey of manufacturers, ahead of this month last year by 11.9%, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has reported.
Towable RVs provided the largest unit gains, while motorhomes rose by a larger percentage increase in May. Seasonally adjusted, the May total represented an annualized rate of more than 322,000 units, a 3% increase over last month.
Through the first five months this year, total RV shipments have now reached 144,015 units, up 13% compared to this same period last year. All vehicle types have enjoyed shipment growth this year with the exception of folding camping trailers which were only slightly behind.
The complete report appears below:
Dick Grymonprez, director of park model sales, Champion/Athens Park Homes, is running unopposed for the park model RV seat on the board of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
The post carries a three-year term.
Grymonprez is one of 13 candidates for eight RVIA board seats announced this week. The elections take place in August.
Two manufacturer seats, both with three-year terms, are in contention this year. The four candidates are Jack Cole, president, Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp.; Ned Collins, CEO, Columbia Northwest/Aliner Inc.; Bob Martin president, CEO and COO, Thor Industries Inc.; Matt Miller, president, Newmar Corp.
Three supplier seats with three-year terms are open on the board with four candidates running for the positions. They are Adam Dexter, president, Dexter Axle Co.; Jason Lippert, CEO, Drew Industries Inc.; Martin Street, president and CEO, Stag-Parkway Inc.; and B.J. Thompson, president, B.J. Thompson Associates Inc.
Four candidates will run for two at-large seats with a three-year term. They are Robert Grant, business development specialist, ADP Lightspeed; Bob Harbin, president, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp.; Paul Hughes, national OEM sales manager, Velvac; and Bob Parish, vice president, manufacturer relations, GE Capital.
The official representatives from RVIA member companies will elect candidates in each category to serve on the board for the term beginning Oct. 1. The elections will take place electronically through August.
RVIA’s Nominating Committee is chaired by Jeff Rutherford of Airxcel and includes Andy Baer, KZRV LP; Gregg Fore, Dicor Corp.; and Jim Sheldon, Monaco RV.
Members of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Public Relations Committee were informed of the hiring of another consultant to promote the RV industry among national trade publications during RVIA Committee Week June 2-6 at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C.
James A. Boyle of Boyle Public Affairs, McClean, Va., has joined Diane McNamara of Fire it Up, PR, Boston, under contract to generate publicity for the RV industry. McNamara has already been promoting the RV lifestyle in consumer periodicals.
Both have stepped up to help fill the void left by the untimely March 2 passing of Jon Tancredi, 46, who served RVIA for 20 years as a PR professional with Barton Gilanelli & Associates and more recently as president of Tancredi Public Relations.
The committee also recommended approval of partnership packages with ESPN, CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated to promote RV tailgating at upcoming NCAA and NFL football games along with other sporting events.
The tie-in to sports is a natural connection for promoting the RV lifestyle, said committee Chairman B.J. Thompson of BJ Thompson Associates, Elkhart, Ind. ”Tailgating with an RV enhances a person’s interest when they attend sporting events,” Thompson said.
Thompson reported that the RV industry has received a large amount of attention from national media outlets including NBC, ABC, Fox and CNN in addition to exposure in Sunset and Midwest Living magazines, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal.
”Because of recent strong consumer demand for RVs, we’ve had quite a bit of interest from the national media,” Thompson told RVBUSINESS.com.
Additionally, the PR Committee asked the RVIA staff to coordinate an updated vacation cost comparison by San Francisco-based PFK Consulting LLC, the most recent of which was conducted three years ago.
The committee also heard that RVIA’s most recent Campfire Canvass of about 400 RV owners found that 71% intend to use their RVs more through the summer months than they did last year and that 78% cited outdoor activities as the reason they intend to use their RVs.
”Those are pretty good numbers,” Thompson said. ”Rather than us speaking in general terms about how great RVing is, we can go to the media with specific information.”
The Campfire Canvass is a biannual survey conducted by Internet-based Cvent, McLean, Va.
The committee also recommended that Brad and Amy Herzog continue to be RVIA’s traveling spokespersons for the 14th year.
The programs recommended for approval by the committee are pending until final approval by the RVIA Executive Committee at its August budget meeting and the RVIA board at its annual meeting in September.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) enjoyed its largest turnout ever for its 12th Capitol Hill Advocacy Day with 37 association members taking part in meetings with 83 different Congressional offices at this year’s event held June 5 in Washington, D.C, in conjunction with Committee Week, RVIA Today Express reported.
During meetings in 44 House and 39 Senate offices, RV industry members were able to raise awareness of the RV industry at the federal level and discuss several key issues. Meeting topics included the strong recovery of the RV market, the renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade agreement, and the importance of preserving the second home mortgage deduction eligibility for RVs.
“Our members enjoyed a very productive day on the Hill meeting with legislators and their staff to educate them on the RV industry’s positions on key issues,” said Mike Ochs, director of government affairs, who organized the event. “This is an event that our members really enjoy. At the end of the day they are energized and excited about the work they have done to help promote the RV industry at the federal level.”
“The opportunity to meet face-to-face with our elected officials and develop a relationship is invaluable,” said John Draheim, CEO of Fleetwood RV. “It is tremendous to engage in meaningful conversations that lead to a better understanding and appreciation of the issues facing the RV industry.”
Advocacy Day has played a valuable role in helping RVIA secure key legislative victories in recent years, including:
- Exempting RV awnings from commercial width regulations.
- Having EPA adopt the CARB wood products standard for formaldehyde emission levels.
- Including RV retail and wholesale loans in the Term-Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility.
- Having tax breaks for motorhome purchases included in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.