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 .
Tue Jun 28, 2016
Coming off a wildly successful Tampa RV show in which about 4,700 people attended through volatile weather, the Florida RV industry is beginning to pick up its strength again, even when the summer months are typically slower for the hotter, southern state.
Hot weather or not, the industry in Florida is always in the top five in just about every statistical category, Florida Recreation Vehicle Trade Association’s (FRVTA) Executive Director Lance Wilson says.
The economic impact study commissioned by the RVIA earlier this month shows that Florida has a significant impact on the industry as a whole and the United States economy. Florida provided a direct economic impact of $966.2 million in 2015, coming in sixth in the country, while also having 1,224 RV businesses, a number good for third behind California and Texas. Another 128 RV dealership and 7,536 direct jobs round out the numbers for the Sunshine State.
“Florida is always in the top 5 for shipments and retails and has always been very much in the forefront,” Wilson says. “They are expanding in a number of cases, opening up new dealerships.”
However, generally speaking, the Florida RV industry usually sees a slower time in the summer months and a much busier time starting in October, November and the winter months when the snowbirds migrate south for the winter in their RVs.
Rob Rothenhausler of Ocean Grove RV in St. Augustine and the Florida state delegate to the national RVDA, says June picked up the pace a little bit more than usual after a slow April and May.
“It’s just now starting to pick up for us,” Rothenhausler says. “June has been very good. You were usually able to predict what it would do. But as the year goes on, it’s kind of a crapshoot.”
One of the reasons Florida’s industry behavior is so difficult to predict is the wide change in the northern and southern parts of the state in how they do business and what time of year is best.
Wilson says when one part of the state is in a boom, another part of the state could be slower than ever, which makes it difficult for him and the association to adjust to almost completely opposite market trends in the same state.
“Because of the shape of Florida, the southeast and southwest is much different than the panhandle and that strip across the top of the state,” Wilson says. “There are different selling trends than other parts of the state. Right now, the southwest part is a little slower time, but up there, it could be a different story.”
However, most of the shows that Wilson and the FRVTA puts on are scheduled for the winter, to make sure to involve the snowbirds who come down for those time periods. The exception was the Tampa RV show over last weekend, which brought out a record number of visitors.
Rothenhausler says the RV market in the northern part of the state is trending toward younger families looking for a brief vacation with something light and compact like a travel trailer.
“Right now, we’re seeing more family-oriented customers getting smaller, lighter weight towable products,” he says. “The motorized doesn’t have as much (interest), but it is still pretty strong, too.”