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 Apr 14, 2017
LaSalle Bristol has introduced its new Treadway line of products, which is a traction pad that can be adhered to RV steps, roofs, ramps and other similar applications.
The new line of product was introduced at the NTP-Stag Expo in Anaheim, California and received a positive response from dealers.
LaSalle Bristol Aftermarket Sales Manager Richard Pennino says the new product has the versatility and the design to accommodate a large variety of RV and other applications.
“It’s made out of heavy-duty durable PBC membrane, with a deep embossed pattern,” Pennino says. “That pattern will allow for water runoff and easy cleaning. It’s also paintable. Currently, if you want to cover steps, there’s a very thin piece of carpet that will last about a year and retail about $20. Ours retails between $12 and $14 and should, theoretically, last the life of the unit. There is no degradation to speak of. It’s easy to mount on the step and can fit any shape.”
The original idea for the Treadway line came from Mike Sass, the general manager of Rubber Manufacturers Association. Pennino says Sass had a friend that owned an RV who liked to get up to the roof and clean it regularly. Knowing that roofs can get slippery, especially when wet, Sass invented a way to bring traction protection for an RV roof.
Pennino then, after looking at an RV showroom, thought the tread would also work well for RV steps and ramps and the product has evolved from there.
“I’m a snowmobiler and I know that walking up and down a ramp is dangerous, especially taking a machine up and down a ramp,” Pennino says. “This is ideal for outdoorsmen, driving up some type of power equipment. The original intentions of the product, as designed by the manufacturer, was to create a pathway on top of RVs. In a commercial building, a code exists that you have to have a pathway reinforced on a roof to any fixture that requires maintenance. It’s the same concept here. You have to get up there and clean the A/C. This creates a pathway that makes it safe to do that.”
The product has been placed in many distributors’ catalogs and Pennino says it was already in multiple dealerships not long after the NTP-Stag Expo in Anaheim.
Because the product is so new to the industry, Pennino hasn’t been able to get much consumer feedback for the use of the product, but he says the dealers have jumped for it and it appears to be filling a need in the marketplace.
“I did hear from the horse trailer industry, who thought it would have a lot of applications for that. We as a corporation, sell to some of the horse trailer manufacturers with living quarters, and that would be one of the applications.”
Additionally, LaSalle Bristol has been in talks with manufacturers about supplying the Treadway product on the OE side as well.
LaSalle Bristol Product Manager Manuel Ponce says the product has been receiving a lot of interest from the OE side, particularly from Thor Industries.
“We thought we’d try the OEM level and see what the interest would be,” Ponce says. “The motorized side was seeing a lot of value and the towables did as well. It can generate a high volume of business. The motorized side thought it would be a good value for its customer base going up to the roof. They’re all taking a look at it right now. The cost is the question. This is a new concept to them, but we’re going to be competitive in the aftermarket and the OE side.”