RVIA Economic Impact Study

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 .

RV Dealerships May Be Required to Comply With Military Lending Act

Fri Sep 30, 2016

RV dealerships and auto dealerships may now be required to comply with the Military Lending Act (MLA), the federal law giving active service members and their dependents certain consumer credit protections that vary from standard retail sales contracts. The MLA goes into effect on Monday, Oct. 3.

Among other provisions, the MLA imposes a 36 percent cap on the interest charged on most loans, computes the military APR differently from traditional APR, and prohibits mandatory binding arbitration clauses and waiver-of-rights clauses.

Vehicle transactions were previously thought to be exempt from the MLA, but the Department of Defense in late August recently issued so-called clarifying guidance that now puts that exemption in doubt. Attempts by the industry to seek clarification on the DoD Guidance have been unsuccessful, according to a press release from RVDA.

The DoD’s MLA Guidance, without explanation, excludes RVs and motorhomes from the exempt definition for motor vehicle in their guidance. However, there is another exemption for any “credit transaction that is expressly intended to finance the purchase of personal property when the credit is secured by the property being purchased.”

RVs and motorhomes are arguably covered under the personal property exemption, but without a clear definition of personal property in the Military Lending Act or the Guidance, that status of RVs remains unclear.

In one possible interpretation, many financed RVs and auto purchases may now be covered by the MLA if any ancillary products are sold along with the vehicle. However, there are strong counter arguments that only “Cash Out” transactions are covered by the MLA provisions.

There are significant penalties for violations. Unfortunately, the DOD hasn’t responded to industry requests for additional clarification, so RVDA urges dealers to consult with their lenders and dealership counsel for guidance. RVDA will continue to provide updates to members on this issue as more information becomes available.