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 .
Wed May 31, 2017
Memorial Day Weekend is the spring gate that opens summer sales to the RV dealerships throughout the country.
Generally, a lot of excitement is generated from travelers and vacationers during the weekend as they gear up for the good weather, at least a 3-day weekend and the chance to get away with family, friends and nature.
Consequently, dealerships can expect a strong turnout during the weeks leading up to and including Memorial Day weekend and can be seen as a gauge for what RV summer sales will be like.
United RV in Fort Worth, Texas saw a strong turnout of RV shoppers, including a good amount of first-time buyers, showing that the industry in Texas is headed in a good direction.
“There were a lot of first-time and second-time buyers,” United RV Business Manager Kevin White says. “Our aluminum products – the smaller travel trailers – have been in very high demand. But also, just recently, our high end fifth wheel business is finally getting going.”
Memorial Day weekend is a good barometer for many dealerships to measure what the next few months will be like. White says if it’s any indication, the sales season looks to be a busy, healthy one.
“This weekend kicks off our summer sales and it has been really strong,” White says. “From past years, our inventory was a little more heavy and we had some more diverse products. The economy is cooking pretty good and that seems to help us all throughout the year.”
Mike Phillips, the sales manager at Curtis Trailers, Inc. in Portland, Oregon, says the turnout was great in the west as well.
“The two weeks leading up to Memorial Day got real busy here,” Phillips says. “We saw a lot of first-time buyers. It tells me it’s going to be a good year. People are working, they got money and they’re spending it. They don’t want to travel by air.”
United RV held its annual open house the week before the Memorial Day weekend as part of a promotion that continued throughout the holiday weekend as well. The staff in Fort Worth also spent a lot of the holiday weekend cooking hot dogs out front of the dealership for customers, a practice White says the company carries on many Saturdays during the year. White says the promotion sparked a lot of interest in the dealership and traffic was nonstop throughout the weekend.
Phillips and Curtis Trailers didn’t hold a promotion, but he says the traffic, especially on the Saturday of the holiday weekend, was still jam-packed with RV buyers.
“Fortunately, we’ve been in business so long that we didn’t need to do any promotions,” he says. “We’ve sold a lot of RVs in the last week and a half.”
For as good as the Memorial Day weekend sales were in Texas and the Pacific Northwest, the northeast area of the United States didn’t see quite as good returns. However, Brian Sullivan of Campers Inn of Raynham in Raynham, Massachusetts says that could be a product of the poor weather during the weekend and not a lapse in RVing interest.
“It was cold and the weather was bad and it was not a great vacation weekend,” Sullivan says. “But we did get some activity in the dealership as far as sales on Memorial Day.”
Sullivan says he is still analyzing the weekend’s numbers, but the weather determines a lot of the activity among the consumers.
With four straight months of increases and numbers better in nearly every category as compared to 2016, this year’s summer sales are looking pretty optimistic for dealers throughout the country. If Memorial Day weekend sales are any indication, the interest in RVing from the consumer side hasn’t waned a bit.