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 .

Amish Laborers Make Living Building RVs in Northwest Indiana

Mon Jun 26, 2017

The Amish settlements of Nappanee and Elkhart-La Grange are less than an hour’s drive apart and both about a three-hour drive north of Indianapolis, Indiana. The flat, almost treeless landscape is home to horse stables and barns, white wooden houses, antiquated farming equipment and nearly 30,000 Amish. Regardless of the decade, these communities seem to remain constant in appearance.

Permissible technology for the Amish varies by community depending on the bishop — the local religious leader who determines the rules. Some, like Northern Indiana’s Amish, allow gas to power laundry machines and indoor lighting, or business owners to use cell phones and email at work. Generally, though, modern technology beyond work purposes is prohibited, and no matter how progressive the community, operating a motor vehicle, even for work, is out of the question.

But there’s more than meets the eye, and it only takes a bit longer in the region to take notice — the number of Recreational Vehicles such as campers, fifth-wheel trailers or motorhomes. Trailers are pulled behind trucks, and tour bus-sized coaches squeeze through the small-town streets.

According to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, RV manufacturing is a $50 billion business in the United States, employing nearly 300,000 Americans. Most of the RVs in America — 80 percent — are made in Northern Indiana.

The Amish in this region don’t just live near the RV epicenter — they’re building the vehicles. According to Steve Nolt, Senior Scholar at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College, most of the Amish men under 65 work in factories. The majority of these manufacturing plants either assemble RVS or supply parts such as cabinets or windows, according to a story by Atlas Obscura.

Additional Information: http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/amish-rvs-northern-indiana