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 .

Why is Indiana So Good at Manufacturing RVs?

Tue Dec 12, 2017

How did 80 percent of the global RV production end up in Northeast Indiana?

As is the case in most manufacturing clusters, it all starts with a few people, an idea and a drive to be successful. In this case, it was three Hoosiers -- Milo Miller, Wilbur Schult and Harold Platt -- who according to Al Hesselbart, the former staff historian of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, “fell in love with trailers in the mid-1930s.”

Hesselbart explained, in an article in Inside Indiana Business, that by 1948 Elkhart had earned the title of “Trailer Capital of the World” as 100 companies were building trailers in and around Elkhart County, according to a story by Industry Week.

Fast forward to 2017, where the tradition continues. Currently, Indiana ranks third nationally in vehicle manufacturing with 20 percent of those in manufacturing working in this sector.

So, the question is what factors were in place from then until now, that enabled this industry, as well as the entire vehicle industry to grow in this area?