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: RV Industry Rolls In to Help with Harvey Mop-Up

Tue Sep 5, 2017

Texans and Louisianans spent the Labor Day weekend mopping up. The Houston Chronicle reports today that many roads are still closed due to flood waters still standing, including I-45, I-610, I-69, U.S. Rte. 290, Texas Rd. 225, Texas Rd. 288, and Beltway 8. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more than 90,000 residential structures in the Houston area, including an estimated 80,000 in Harris County, may have flood damage. Harris County officials expect that number to be much higher, probably in excess of 136,000 properties. More than 60 people have died or are feared dead. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on Sunday that the total damages in the state would be about $180 billion.

As of this morning, about 1,000 evacuees were still taking refuge at the George R. Brown Convention Center and another 2,750 still remain at NRG Stadium.

FEMA has received more than 573,000 registrations for assistance. More than 180,000 survivors have already been approved for more than $148 million in assistance from FEMA. Of that amount, $55 million is approved for housing assistance, i.e. rental assistance, and nearly $93 million is approved for other needs assistance. More than 53,600 survivors checked in to hotels and motels through the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program. More than 73,000 National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims have been submitted, and more than $13.2 million advance payments have been issued to insured survivors. More than 6,470 disaster loan applications, primarily for homes, have been received by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA has fielded more than 15,000 calls, and completed more than 2,600 property damage inspections.

The hurricane and the resultant flooding grabbed headlines for more than a week before the Labor Day weekend. Many organizations, companies and philanthropists have reached out with large donations, and volunteers have flocked to the area from all over the United States and Mexico, according to local government agencies.

The outdoors and RV industries has stepped up to the plate. May RV owners responded by lending their vehicles as temporary shelters, and the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region has waived fees for Harvey evacuees, in those parks within the region that are not closed due to flooding damage.

Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace, is helping provide short-term accommodation to evacuees of Hurricane Harvey by waiving ALL service fees for RVs used to house Harvey victims. Outdoorsy will also contribute $10,000 in RV rental fees to make RVs available at no charge to those displaced by Harvey.

Heart of Texas Retired Senior Volunteer Program's Recreational Vehicle Disaster Corps (RVDC) consists of roving volunteers to serve as secondary responders in times of disaster. The members have been recruited from the thousands of RVers who own recreational vehicles. Once recruited and trained, these disaster-response RVDC volunteers will travel to disaster areas to meet the need of staffing volunteer reception centers for the mid-term period of 1-2 months after the disaster.

Many of the major outdoor retailers have helped out. According to a report at Guns.com, Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops, and Camping World have all announced efforts to aid the federal government in providing basic neceesities for survivors and boats for ongoing rescue operations. Bass Pro said Monday that the company provided 80 tracker boats to government agencies and $40,000 worth of essential supplies to relief organizations.

Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis pledged to raise $4 million for ongoing relief effots in Texas and donated $500,000 personally, according to his social media postings. He said thast Camping World had collected more than 80,000 donated garments before the holiday weekend, with a goal of collecting 300,000 through Labor Day.

The RV Dealers Association (RVDA) said that the Texas Recreation Vehicle Association (TRVA) is working with its members in the state to provide information on available new units if needed for emergency shelter. FEMA administrator Brock Long said he anticipates 30,000 residents will be placed in temporary shelters, according to an RVDA statement.

Daimler AG’s U.S.-based subsidiaries partnered to donate $1 million to support the population in the southern U.S. affected by Hurricane Harvey. Daimler is the parent company of Mercedes Benz and Freightliner Custom Chassis.

RoverPass, an RV prks reservation service, has posted links to campgrounds in Harvey-affected areas offering discounted rates to hurricane evacuees for their vacant sites: roverpass.com/blog/rv-park-discounts-hurricane-harvey-evacuees.

While donors and volunteers are working hard to contribute to the recovery efforts of Hurricane Harvey, another hurricane looms in the Caribbean and threatens the southern tip of Florida. This morning, Hurricane Irma became a category 5 storm, and the best guess of the national weather service expected the storm to cross the Florida peninsula as a category 4 storm, bringing fierce winds, storm surges and possible flooding. Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency September 4 for all Florida counties ahead of Hurricane Irma. Emergency officials have warned that the storm could dump up to 10 inches of rain, unleash landslides and dangerous flash floods and generate waves of up to 23 feet as the storm draws closer. Florida landfall could be Saturday, September 9, and the possibility of the storm track to miss the United States is still possible, the National Hurricane Center said.