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 .
Fri Jun 24, 2016
The RV industry in North Carolina has been booming for the last six months, and some of the state industry leaders are still trying to adjust and catch up to the consumer demand.
Rex Creech was named the new North Carolina RV Association President in April, but he has been involved on the board of directors for some time, serving as vice president the previous year. Creech says North Carolina is simply a great vacation spot for families and the challenge is staying on top of the trends.
“Our industry is booming,” he says. “How long it’s going to last is up for some debate. North Carolina is a great vacation spot and that’s what we’ve seen across the board is just families coming in with kids that want to go out and camp.”
Creech also is the owner of Rex and Sons RV in Wilmington on the east side of the state. Meanwhile, the association’s vice president and last year’s president Carroll “Junior” Lineberger, is based from Terrell Camping Center in Terrell on the western side of the state.
Lineberger says he doesn’t know what to point to as the explosion of business in the state, but he has added two more employees and increased inventory by 30 percent to keep up with customer demands. But that has been a good problem to have, Lineberger says.
“Honestly, I don’t know (how it happened). It’s like the bank started turning loose of money and customers started coming out of every crevice,” Lineberger says. “It’s just been an explosion of business.”
The recent economic impact study commissioned by the RVIA showed that North Carolina provides $465.4 million of economic impact to the nation, good for 20th in the country. It also has 504 RV businesses, a number in the top 20 as well. Creech says the amount of talented and motivated dealers in the state is inspiring.
“We lost a bunch of dealers in the recession and now the dealers have rebounded and it’s stronger than ever,” Creech says. “We learned a lot from it. It’s a lesson I don’t want to learn again. People don’t know how hard it is to recover after something like that. I’m real happy with our dealer form and what we’ve got. We feel like we are going to grow this year and hopefully in the year to come. Everybody has a positive attitude.”
Lineberger also referenced the expansion of Camping World in North Carolina, with the relatively recent purchase of Tom Johnson RV, making it the seventh Camping World location in the state. The expansion of one of the world’s largest supplier of RV parts means business is going good in the state. However he also says that several industry professionals have started to look to other smaller RV businesses as well because of the reluctance to add to a large chain and the desire to grow smaller, locally owned and operated businesses. Because of that movement, Lineberger says the business explosion has been felt everywhere.
Going forward, Creech says he doesn’t know if and when the booming industry will come to a stop in the state. But he says whenever it may come, he’s confident in the dealers within the state to react with confidence and keep the industry's momentum high.
“We’ve got some of our best dealers in the association. They work hard and they’re individually owned and they are a great group of guys,” Creech says. “They go beyond the call when it comes to service and that’s all of them.”