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 .
Thu Mar 16, 2017
The area in and around Boise, Idaho was home to many manufacturers in the 1970s and ‘80s. Automobiles and recreational vehicles, as well as the manufacturing of parts and supplies had a large impact on the area.
In 1990, Dave May opened a facility in Caldwell, Idaho, 27 miles west of the capital city, for a rotational molding company, which he called Custom Roto-Molding, Inc. May got his start in southern California where he provided holding tanks. The company service manufacturers of serviced kit trailers at the time.
Ed Willson joined the company in 2003 as president and brought with him the agricultural product line, along with the ability to do custom work and the business grew the RV industry even more.
The company opened up another facility in Springfield, Oregon and the two locations have wrapped up a significant portion of the RV manufacturing companies out west.
“We’ve grown by an extremely large amount in the last year – about 20 percent,” Willson says. “As the RV industry expands out west, we’ve acquired all of that business in the last year and a half. There’s nobody else out here in the west that does what we do.”
Custom Roto-Molding is one of just a few companies in the United States to manufacture its own moldings, which it produces for RV tanks, as well as marine, industrial and agricultural tanks. Willson says the fact that they produce their own moldings in-house gives them the competitive advantage.
“That gives us the difference,” he says. “It doesn’t cost much because we do it in-house. It has happened in the past where someone had forgotten to order a specific tank in production and we’ve had to come through in 24 hours.”
The company designs and builds its own rotational molding machines, which are designed to swing large diameters, produce the maximum amount of product in an hourly period and keep the cost low, Willson says. From that standpoint, the company produces about 350 tanks per day in its 45,000 square-foot facility in Caldwell.
Later this year, the company is planning on shutting down the Springfield, Oregon location to consolidate and move it down the road in Caldwell, where it has acquired another 10,000 square-foot facility.
Being far from the RV capital of Elkhart, Indiana, there are some challenges the company has had to face and overcome over the years, chief among them, the freight shipping costs.
“Freight is always a big issue,” Willson says. “It’s one thing that the Indiana-based companies have had a hard time doing – servicing businesses that are 2,000 miles away. It made sense as these companies opened up in the west to have a manufacturer close to their locations. By having a tank supplier within a 4-6 hour drive is really beneficial to them.”
Over the past 18 months, several large manufacturers have either opened or announced the opening of a new facility in the west. These include Heartland Recreational Vehicles, which opened a facility in nearby Nampa, Idaho; Keystone, which opened a facility in Pendleton, Oregon; Jayco in Twin Falls, Idaho; and Winnebago Industries has announced a new facility in Junction City, Oregon.
Many of those manufacturers are working with Custom Roto-Molding, situated in a good spot out west to get the business of the manufacturers moving out that way.
For more information on Custom Roto-Molding, visit www.customroto.com or call 208-459-1944.