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 News Exclusive: As Wyoming's Economy Rebounds, So Do RV Sales

Tue May 9, 2017
Author: Scott Hansen

Near the beginning of 2016, the state of Wyoming’s economic situation went into a tailspin when the tragic trifecta of oil, gas and coal hit record lows at the same time.

Thousands of coal mine employees were laid off their jobs, oil field workers were struggling to find labor and many people throughout the state were hurting financially.

With the strong dip in employment and natural resources, upon which the state’s economy is largely based, those in the state also had to reduce their discretionary income.

As a result, RV sales and related retail sales had gone down nearly 30 percent over the last year, according to Sonny’s RV Sales Inc. General Manager Mike Rone.

The dealership based in Evansville, a small town near Casper, had seen the sales numbers plummet as the economic situation continued to get worse.

According to the RVIA Economic Impact Study completed about a year ago, Wyoming generated about $93.3 million in economic output in the RV industry, ranked 45th of the 50 states and provided for 909 direct jobs in 20 RV dealerships and 286 RV businesses.

However, a tide has turned in the state. Rone says the mines have seen a clear shift and are now hiring people “left and right.” With President Donald Trump making promises to help out the natural resources industries in America, Wyomingites have gained some confidence and RV sales are increasing again.

“The election of Donald Trump has changed some things around here,” Rone says. “Everybody has a better outlook of what’s going to happen and what potentially could happen. They have more confidence. We’ve already seen an increase in the last two months. We’re up 25 percent from the prior year.”

However, one of the greatest challenges for the state’s dealerships has been working with customers and F&I for the loans and working to help the state’s RVers afford an RV.

“We get our fair share of people who can’t afford it and we can’t get them approved due to their credit, filing bankruptcy and we’re seeing more of that than in quite some time,” he says. “We’re trying to get more lenders involved, national and local banks, getting more money put down to help them have to finance less.”

The biggest sellers in the state are travel trailers from 13 to 33 feet. That hasn’t always been the case. Rone says the trend shifted to the travel trailers about 3-4 years ago when the economy started heading south.

“As the economy changed, so did what they were buying,” Rone says. “People still want to go camping, but they don’t have the kind of money to afford the bigger, high-end stuff.”

Rone says his highest sellers are Grand Design Reflection and Imagine travel trailers as well as Sportsmen from K-Z.

As the economy and the labor situation in the state continues its upward trajectory, Rone expects the RV buying market to continue to increase as well.