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 Sep 27, 2016
When Airstream debuted its new Basecamp travel trailer at the Elkhart Open House last week, not even the most optimistic of the Airstream sales team or dealers could have predicted the overwhelmingly positive response it has got.
In North America, Airstream generates about 4,000 sales leads a month, according to Airstream Vice President of Sales Justin Humphreys. But during the first week that the Thor Industries subsidiary launched the Basecamp, it generated 12,000 leads.
“It really caught our dealers off guard,” Humphreys says. “It was a little overwhelming for them, but they weren’t complaining. What’s also interesting is we can see if these people had visited (the website) before. And the vast majority hadn’t been there before. It’s doing exactly what we wanted – expanding the brand, reaching a new audience and appealing to that outdoor enthusiast.”
The Basecamp gets its name from the idea that its intended audience is for the real outdoorsmen and women who want to engage in a number of outdoor activities like biking, hiking, kayaking and then come back to the camp, where they can clean up, eat and sleep in comfort.
“They’re going camping to support whatever they want to do,” Humphreys says. “We had about 10 weeks’ worth of retail order come in during the first few weeks of the launch. You couldn’t have had a better launch. That’s feeding their optimism for Airstream in particular to see that reaction to a new product.”
Then, during Open House, Airstream was able to receive even more attention for the Basecamp from dealers, both current and potential and work with people who have never carried the Airstream brand in their dealerships before.
“This is not your grandpa’s Airstream,” Humphreys says. “The dealers really liked the designed intent and its ruggedness. It appeals to the younger buyer who hadn’t considered one in the past. It’s Airstream – so it has rivets and aluminum, but it will really open us up to a new customer.”
The Basecamp is the lightest trailer in the Airstream fleet and designed with the collaboration of Bryan Thompson, an automotive designer with more than 15 years of experience working with top global automotive brands. The Basecamp weighs 2,585 pounds and has a maximum trailer capacity of 3,500 pounds.
Additional features of the Basecamp, according to an Airstream press release, include the following:
• A convertible rear space for eating, sleeping, lounging or storing gear.
• A large rear cargo hatch and flexible storage space with tie downs, allowing for loading and unloading.
• A bathroom with toilet and shower, including shower head pass through.
• A kitchen, with cooktop, stainless steel sink and refrigerator.
• A wireless Bose Bluetooth Soundlink color speaker.
• Other optional features include an enclosed patio and rear tent that attack to the roof track.
“With its lighter weight and easier towing experience, Basecamp is a fully-loaded adventure waiting to happen,” Airstream CEO and President Bob Wheeler says in the press release. “We designed Basecamp to rekindle the desire to explore nature and get outdoors. Whether it’s for the long-time camper who has a garage full of high-end gear that’s no longer used, or for the person who has always wanted to get out more but was hesitant. Basecamp is the passport to unimaginable new experiences.”
With an election coming up in just a few weeks that has historically dampened the RV buying mood, the RV industry still has not slowed down, but actually has increased. Humphreys says the reason is a result of everything aligning in the right way at the right time.
“We’re right in the middle of the baby boomers having an impact on this industry. It’s been very transformative,” Humphreys says. “A lot of dealers are seeing the Gen Xers getting into the industry a little sooner than expected. They’re younger buyers. So the combination of the boomers – the core retirement group and then this huge entry by the younger group, has been great to see and it’s really fueling the industry.”
The Basecamp has an MSRP of $34,900. Airstream dealers are taking reservations and orders now, and will begin receiving the inventory in October.