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 .
Tue Dec 19, 2017
Author: Scott Hansen
In the past 18 months, Travel Lite has seen sales grow every month since the release of the Falcon, a series of lightweight travel trailers designed to appeal to a wide range of potential RV customers.
The original Falcon, introduced at Open House in 2016, attracted the masses and helped put Travel Lite back on the map in terms of travel trailers, whereas, before, it was known mainly for its truck campers.
“As a company, we introduced the Falcon at Open House last year and Travel Lite had the best Open House it had ever had,” Travel Lite Regional Sales Manager Chris Saal says. “With that kind of success, we introduced the Falcon F-Lite this year.”
The Falcon F-Lite starts at 1,692 pounds, meaning that it can be towed by any vehicle that has a factory-installed hitch, from a minivan, to a Subaru Outback, Saal says. The Falcon has six available floorplans, while the Falcon F-Lite has three floorplans.
With the continued momentum of the Falcon, and the introduction of the even lighter Falcon F-Lite, Saal says this year’s Elkhart Open House set a larger record than the previous year.
“I talked about the success of the Falcon at last year’s Open House. This year’s Open House, one year later, just on Monday, we had signed more dealers and sold more product than the entire previous year’s Open House combined,” Saal says. “We have taken what we have learned, what the millennial segment is going after and rolled it all over to our truck campers as well and have seen huge success all the way across the board.”
The F-Lite’s three floorplans are offered in 14-foot, 18-foot and 19-foot models. The 14-foot model has a dinette that converts to a bed, a bathroom with a shower and toilet, two pantry/drawer spaces, along with overhead cabinet space and a deluxe wardrobe. On the exterior, the floorplan features three slider windows and a large pass-thru storage compartment.
The 18-foot floorplan has a bed with large under-bed storage instead of the convertible dinette, a 3-cubic foot refrigerator and a sink added to all the features of the 14-foot model. The exterior features four slider windows and the large pass-thru storage compartment.
Finally, the 19-foot model has a dinette that converts to a bed, a lower and upper bunk for three sleeping spaces, in addition to the refrigerator, shower and plenty of drawers and overhead cabinets. The exterior has five slider windows and the pass-thru storage compartment.
Each of the three models also has a 20-pound LP tank. All three of the F-Lite’s floorplans and each of the six Falcon floorplans were at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky and Saal says the show gave the company the ability to spend quality time with dealers talking about their products.
The interiors feature stainless steel appliances, one-piece molded countertops, 73 inches on the interior height, automotive stitched cushions and blue LED accent lighting.
“We found quite a bit of business and signed some new dealers,” Saal says. “People were there looking to fill a niche or replace a product line that wasn’t working for them. It gave us an opportunity to talk to people and spend quality time walking them through the units and showing the products.”
Saal has been in the industry for nearly 20 years, most recently with Forest River before joining Travel Lite. Saal says the enthusiasm and energy of Travel Lite attracted him to the company.
“This company is truly a breath of fresh air,” Saal says. “It’s a family. (Company President) Dustin (Johns)’ energy and vision is infectious. He has passion for where he wants this product to be. That’s the reason I’m here. The products on the travel trailer and truck camper segment are unlike anything on the market today. We are leading in innovation and not wanting to copy anybody.”