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 Jul 25, 2016
Progress in the RV industry can almost always be defined as the ability to adapt to new market trends with ease and speed.
When Riverside Travel Trailers in Peru, Indiana introduced its only toy hauler at a trade show last year, the company officials were surprised by the amount of traffic and interest both their own model and other toy haulers throughout the industry generated.
“We realized at that point that there was an opportunity here,” Riverside Travel Trailer Sales Manager Jerry Sell says. “We stopped on a dime and came up with four or five floor plans and now we show seven different toy haulers.”
The company presented their toy haulers at the RVDA Convention in Las Vegas, where it found three new dealers and then took them to Louisville, where they garnered even more interest.
The toy haulers from Riverside now measure from 18-36 feet long and Sell says it comes as a result of understanding what direction the industry is heading and trying to keep ahead of the curve as much as possible.
As small of a company as Riverside is, Sell says it makes the job a little more unique to stay competitive in the industry and offer something that the big manufacturers don’t do. That’s where uniqueness and originality come into play, something that big-time manufacturers often can’t afford to do.
“It goes back to the fact that, in this industry, you can’t compete on price with the big guys,” Sell says. “The floor plan is what people buy. Knowing the bigger manufactures are so production driven – they’ve got to get x number of units off a day, because the margins they’re selling at, it’s the only way to be profitable. You’re not going to get someone who says they want to build a new travel trailer because it slows the line down. That means you’re going to lose three trailers.”
With that in mind, Sell says that Riverside and other smaller trailers are able to be a little more unique and a little flashier than big companies because they can take a little more time to produce something different.
Riverside Travel Trailers creates every trailer with an angled metal, something that sets it apart from virtually every other trailer in the industry. The company also has the flexibility to mess around with floor plans, while the big manufacturers won’t change much because of the cost and time needed to produce their daily quota, Sell says.
“It all comes down to us being unique,” Sell says. “It’s very difficult to have a big production get all that in there. Sometimes, it’s too much change, the big guys won’t do that. We’re able to offer unique options that increase our saleability.”
The RV industry is growing in every corner of the United States. But within that, the toy hauler division is growing even more and Sell says the company has tried to capitalize on it and its small production allows it to quickly change course and adjust to the market trends.
“It’s an economic thing. As America got out of the great recession, people now have the toys and they want to use them,” Sell says. “It’s a utilitarian type product and a really nice RV. The segment has become a very viable product.”