RVIA Economic Impact Study

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 .

RV News Exclusive: New Dutchmen Facility Could Generate 150 New Jobs

Wed Jun 22, 2016

After only about one week since Evergreen RV closed its doors, Dutchmen Manufacturing has bought its 100,000 square-foot facility in Middlebury, Indiana.

Dutchmen announced Tuesday that the company has added its seventh manufacturing facility in the Middlebury area, located near Dutchmen’s existing 92,000 square-foot plant on U.S. 20.

Dutchmen Manufacturing was acquired by Thor Industries in 1991, while 10 years later, joined forces with Keystone RV. Keystone Marketing Director Jim Mac was not able to say if the Evergreen location was the new facility, but Elkhart County Economic Development Corp. CEO Mark Dobson confirmed it.

Evergreen RV’s closing was both sudden and unexpected across much of the industry. It was founded in 2008 and saw success using recycled materials to manufacture its units. In 2013, it was named the fastest growing RV maker by Statistical Surveys Inc. Then in 2015, the company’s travel trailers saw its sales double.

However, the company was unable to get the necessary financing to continue its operation, according to a letter sent to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and the company completely ceased operations last week, resulting in the loss of about 287 jobs.

Nearly one week after the closing, the building was purchased by Dutchmen. Troy James, the president of the Goshen, Indiana-based manufacturing company, says the purchase of the new building is representative of the company’s strength and customer demand.

“Demand for our products is at an all-time high,” James says in a press release. “The major improvements to our manufacturing process and quality that we have made over the past 24 months are really paying off. The addition of this new plant and the quality workforce in the Middlebury area will enable us to further ramp up production to meet our dealers’ needs while maintaining our high level of quality. The labor force in Middlebury is experienced and skilled in the construction of RVs. They understand what it takes, and we’re very much looking forward to getting this new plant on line.”

The new facility is expected to generate about 150 more jobs for Elkhart County, a location that already has a low unemployment rate, last seen at about 3.8 percent. Some of the displaced workers from Evergreen may be able to find work at the new Dutchmen plant.

The new facility is expected to be open and producing in early September, Mac says.