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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 .

Exclusive: What Impact Will FMCA Towables Vote Have on Industry?

Fri Dec 8, 2017
Author: Scott Hansen

145469086530578.pngFamily Motor Coach Association governing board and membership have voted for all types of RVs to become eligible to join and take advantage of the association’s benefits and services.

For more than 50 years, the association was motorhome exclusive. However, the attempt to add towables in the membership has been on the agenda for nearly 10 years, according to FMCA Director of Administrative Services Chris Smith.

Any motion in the association can be difficult to pass as it must go through the governing board first and pass with a majority before being presented to the membership, where it then must also pass by a majority. The two times within the last 10 years the membership expansion was presented, it failed in the governing board by a vast majority. But Smith says the recognition of the RV market and the ability to adjust to the change this time around led to both the board and the membership approving the motion by 70 percent or better in the July vote.

“I think the main reason it failed before is because it’s hard to change what you’ve been doing for so long,” Smith says. “It was hard for our governing board to want to make that change. But times have changed, attitudes have changed. Back in 2005, we had 130,000 members. We’re currently at almost 75,000. So the board realized at that point, that if we want to get back to those numbers, it would be difficult to do with motorhome owners only. We say here it’s about the people, not the equipment. It’s the RV experience, not what you use to enjoy that experience.”

Motorized RVs make up only a small portion of the RV market, with towables representing a large majority. Towables owners have been invited to FMCA rallies over the last four or five years, but with the membership now extended to towable owners, those numbers are expected to climb.

The FMCA International Convention, which will be held in March 2018 in Perry, Georgia, is expected to bring between 2,500 and 3,000.

FMCA also has to navigate through state laws, which sometimes prohibit the sell of motorized vehicles by businesses not licensed in the state, while others regulate the sales to just on dealers’ lots that are licensed in the states.

Also, local dealers who see the FMCA rallies as competition in the area could have a little more concern with the change now that the association is including all types of RVs in its membership. The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association has a long-standing position which it has shared with FMCA.

“Our position on rallies, whether it’s FMCA or anything else, is the organizers and all the participants need to follow the state laws,” RVDA President Phil Ingrassia says. “As long as that’s done, they just need to operate in a manner consistent with the state laws.”

Smith says he has heard mainly positive feedback from dealers, both at the RVIA Show, where the association had an exhibitor booth, and through talks with dealers and manufacturers.

“I think this actually favors dealers and manufacturers,” Smith says. “A lot of people who RV don’t start out in a motorhome. They start out in other types of units and work their way up. So this creates a good prospect pool. You do have a good contingent of local RV owners who want to move up. So far, it’s been a pretty positive response from dealers and manufacturers.”