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 Apr 27, 2017
Author: Scott Hansen
Years of toil, adversity, joy and growth accompany an owner’s career from when he, she or they build up a company from the ground into a thriving business.
As they build it up and see it succeed even through trial and error, setbacks and accomplishments and more, it becomes their proverbial baby, their project that it as much a part of them as anything.
As the owner ages, they start to think about what will happen to the company after they’re gone. It’s a prospect filled with fear, hope and trust.
They hope that the business they built continues to hold true to the vision and the principles they set up and that the business will eventually be even better in the future than it was when they started it.
For Robert McCarthy, the business he bought in 1981 has gone on to become one of the most established and reliable businesses in the recreation vehicle industry, even after his passing.
Rieco Titan has continued to produce and manufacture one of the premier lines of tongue jacks and related accessories in the industry, even debuting a new weigh station jack after he passed away.
Rieco Titan Operations Manager Doug Bakker says the business has maintained the vision and guiding principles of its owner, which continue to be the base from which the company operates.
“I think about how things have been going since Bob passed and they’ve gone very smoothly,” Bakker says. “I can guarantee that there’s not one customer who noticed the difference since Bob passed and we’re doing a lot of that in his memory.”
In 1981, Bob McCarthy and his wife Sharon purchased 50 percent of Titan Jack, Inc., a producer of mechanical jacks to the RV industry. Their partner was Aldo DeAngelis, who owned the other 50 percent.
In 1984, DeAngelis expressed interest to go into politics and the McCarthys purchased the other 50 percent from him. DeAngelis later went on to become a senator in Illinois, serving for 18 years. DeAngelis passed away in 2004 at the age of 72.
McCarthy decided in the early ‘90s that he wanted to broaden the scope of products offered to the RV industry and his research led him to Andres Peralez, who owned Rieco, Inc., selling hydraulic jacks. In 1994, the McCarthys bought Rieco, Inc. from Peralez and the companies became Rieco-Titan Products, Inc., according to Sharon McCarthy.
“Bob established our guiding principles which have always been, and continue to be, to offer not only good quality products, but good customer service,” Sharon McCarthy said in an email. “The principles work well together to keep us focused on our goals. For, if we wish to offer good customer service, it is absolutely necessary to offer good quality products.”
Bakker says the vision and guiding principles of the company are passed from Sharon McCarthy to Bakker and to the 20 employees at Rieco-Titan so that everyone is on the same page for what the end goal is and what tools they need to use to get there.
“Everyone takes pride in the work that they’re doing,” Bakker says. “The work that they do affects the end customer. Without a happy customer, they’re not going to be happy. Everybody there is the quality control person. They are to make sure that they have the quality in every part and every product.”
However, a good company also adjusts and makes improvement on its products regularly, meeting the customers at their expectations.
“We are constantly making minor changes because we really look for feedback,” Bakker says. “I am talking to the people installing on the ground floor at our OEMs rather than the management and I get feedback from those people.”
Rieco-Titan tries to stay ahead of the competition with innovative new products. The company’s jacks started out as tripod jacks and it was one of the first companies in the industry to go to a four-corner jack. It also was the first jack supplier in the industry to come out with a wireless remote control electric jack.
Two years ago, Rieco-Titan introduced its weigh station tongue jack, which has a scale built directly into the jack so the RVer can know exactly what the tongue weight is as they’re loading it.
“It’s really nice to know exactly what weight you have and see what you have up there. It makes you feel comfortable that you’re safe to travel down the road,” Bakker says. “It uses a lot of the same jack parts as we do for the regular truck camper jacks.”
The weigh station tongue jack is a 4,000-pound jack that will immediately show the customer what the amount loaded onto the trailer is, so they can avoid the sway, steering and braking problems and possible loss of control that comes with overloading it.
The product has received a good response from dealers and others in the industry and throughout other industries. Bakker says it has had applications in other industries that weren’t thought of before coming out with it, such as the construction industry.
Since Bob McCarthy’s passing, Rieco-Titan has continued just as if he was still in the office, making improvements on the products and making sure quality is the top priority throughout the company.
That’s something every business owner hopes for.