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 .
Fri Jan 20, 2017
Before founding Advanced RV in 2012, Mike Neundorfer spent 40 years running Neundorfer, Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio-based manufacturer of innovative control systems, software and industrial systems. In addition, he has experience designing and building custom homes and barns.
Mike and his wife Marsha had owned three Mercedes-Benz Sprinter motorhomes and traveled across the country extensively in the type B motorhomes.
Finally, Neundorfer decided to get into the RV manufacturing business and opened Advanced RV nearly five years ago, where the company continues to build custom type B motorhomes on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis.
A lot of challenges come with opening a business. Neundorfer experienced the backlogs, the tough sledding of breaking into the RV industry and others.
But now, as part of the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, Neundorfer says the production wheels are positively turning and he sees a bright future for the company.
“We’ve improved our production rate, reduced our backlog a bit,” he says. “That and a lot of exciting builds where several class B manufacturers have moved toward our designs. That’s been very encouraging for us.”
With the positive responses Advanced RV has received from the RV market, it doesn’t mean the company can relax, but rather, it means it must continue forward with renewed momentum, Neundorfer says.
“The big thing is that it reinforces the direction we thought our clients wanted to go,” he says. “We have to really continue to innovate. That’s why clients come to us. It’s reinforcement and it keeps the innovative juices flowing. We’re a niche player and that’s what we’re about.”
A challenge that Advanced RV is experiencing is getting the 4x4 chassis from Europe, where a production overlook has caused a backlog, not just for Advanced RV, but many of the type B manufacturers who use the European Mercedes Sprinter chassis.
“In Dusseldorf, the Sprinter manufacturing facility, the way Mercedes does it is they come out with a manufacturing estimate and go to suppliers and decide on a build estimate and commit to the number of parts they need,” Neundorfer says. “They grossly underestimated the demand in North America and are still slow to catch up.”
That’s because once the allocation is used up, the Sprinter facility must go through the whole process of ordering, estimating and designing again. However, even with the European issues, Advanced RV has still reduced its own backlog through efficient production lines and continued to expand the reaches of what the company does for its customers.
“We’ve got a very stable, high-skilled workforce that we can build in so short a time,” he says. “Everybody’s involved in the client and the specific request. There are specialists here in audio, energy and battery, a mechanical engineer who works on R&D projects and aeronautical advancements. It’s a great, tightly knit workforce.”