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 Aug 1, 2016
Forest River, Inc. has debuted its new Wildcat, Wide-Body Fifth Wheel line to the market, along with an Ultra-Lite Fifth Wheel line and a Travel Trailer line-up launched earlier this year, during a time where the towable segment of the RV industry is on a large upswing with no slowdown in sight.
Chris Saal, the Sales Manager for the Wildcat division of Forest River, says the first wide body model, called the 30WB, has the features and a price-point to compete in the marketplace and the product launch has been a success with dealers anxious to see more floorplans at this year’s Elkhart Open House.
“The saying in the industry that ‘Nobody has a crystal ball’ when it comes to designing product holds true in every instance," Saal says. "Most products are developed, however, due to the market trends, dealer feedback and ultimately the retail feedback during show season, the retail feedback being the true driving force. So, with that said, I think the wide body’s concept is spot on and, although encompassing the entire coach, the upper deck is where the design aspects are most beneficial and visible."
The 30WB is measured at 33 feet, nine inches, with an exterior width of 100 inches. The height and awning size are still to be determined, according to the specifications on the company website.
Some of the additional highlights of this unit include three queen sized bed sleeping areas; a queen-size bed in the master bedroom, another queen size bed is found in the Happy Jack bed lift-system above the dinette and the dinette itself will make into a queen bed. A 114-inch sofa and dual staircases leading upstairs also can be found in the 30WB.
“I try to design with three basic things in mind: floorplan, eye appeal and price,” Saal says. “All three need to coincide or you’ll fail or, at the very least, you won’t hit your projected goals or intentions. We’ve lined the product up to be very aggressively priced and believe it will do well in the market. I’m very excited about what this product has to offer, the new customers we are enticing and the benefits it will have for our dealers on the retail side of things.”
Saal says the models will retail around the $40,000 to $45,000 price range, making it able to compete well with today’s buyers, who are trending in many places throughout the country to lower end models and cheap price points as opposed to fancier trailers complete with all the bells and whistles.
Wildcat got into the travel trailer lineup for 2016 a little late in the game, missing the 2016 show season, and started to debut their models in March and April. However, the demand and positive feedback the company has received from dealers and the public has more than made up for the late start, Saal says.
“Even with that, they are very well received and retailing almost daily,” he says. “I feel our towable segment will be a huge portion of the Wildcat sales this year. Our lot presence is growing, our dealer network is growing as is our product line-up. We’ve set the stage to have a great Open House and a great year moving forward.”
The Ultra Lite segment of Wildcat currently includes a 27RL Fifth Wheel set to debut at Open House with more focus on Ultra-Lites and Ultra-Lite floorplans this fall heading into Show Season.