The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.
Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .
Mon Jun 13, 2016
ITC Inc. has created a way for RV owners to greet visitors at campgrounds with a shocking display of colors and lights.
A lot of RVs look alike, especially at night when the colors and designs on the sides are shielded in shadows. ITC President Mike Camarota says a lot of RV owners are looking for ways to personalize their vehicles and make them stand out in a crowd.
The new product is called VersiColor RGB LED lighting and it allows the user to switch on an array of color combinations, flashing lights and other fancy ways to make an RV look like an attraction.
“Everybody’s trying to make their unit look unique,” Camarota says. “This is a way to make their unit more individualistic. In a consumer-oriented world, if you go to LL Bean, you can get any shirt you want in any color. This is the same offering. If you’re a subdued person, you can get it just in blue. Or you can be a little more eccentric with several colors or even rotate the colors.”
Jayco, Inc. was the first company to take a look at the new offering, debuting the product in Louisville in January for their 2016 Seismic Toy Hauler line. Jayco Senior Director of Product Development Toy Hauler Division Mike Aplin says the potential for personalizing is what attracted him to the product in the first place.
“The big appeal is the customer can custom create a lighting package specific to their wants, needs and whatever,” Aplin says. “Basically, it has more than 2,000 light combinations. I was at a Michigan NASCAR race and saw a Class A motorhome stringing lights all around the ground on their unit and I knew there was a better way than stringing them up like that.”
The lights through ITC run from the front of the unit all the way to the back, secured to the motorhome in curved applications as well as straight mounts. The lights are able to be controlled through the Magic Light app on Bluetooth or a smart phone. It gives the customers the flexibility to change the colors in any way they want, whether that be displaying the colors for their favorite team or simply choosing a couple of favorite colors.
Aplin says the lights also could be customized to flash intermittently with music to put on a light show. He also says it’s cheaper to have it done in one place than trying to buy individual lights and string them together.
“If they would do it themselves and have a dealer install them, it would cost a lot of money to run all the wires,” Aplin says. “You can lock in your favorite colors or spin the color wheel. It really does light up quite well.”
Per Department of Transportation laws, a vehicle can’t have the flashing lights and colors displayed while driving down the highway because of safety concerns. But that isn’t an issue for Camarota, or, he says, many of the RV manufacturers, because RVs are parked a lot of the time.
“We’re doing a similar thing with undercarriage lights, when the lights come on when you walk up to the vehicle,” Camarota says. “It has to go off before you start the car.”
Aplin says that customers and dealers have loved the lighting options because it’s something they’ve never seen before. LEDs are a big thing in the industry, incorporated throughout the interior of many motorhomes, but there hasn’t been anything for the outside of the units while they are parked at campgrounds, he says.
“I’m big on industry firsts,” Aplin says. “Whenever I’m talking to a customer or presenting it to dealers, I’m big on leading the way in industry firsts. We get lost in the shuffle sometimes. This separates us a little bit.”
Camarota says there are other manufacturers that have started to implement the lights, but many of those companies haven't shown their products publicly yet.