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: B&W Interactive Website Answers Complex Towing Questions

Thu Feb 1, 2018
Author: Jeff Thomas

151750637110053.pngWith perhaps untold millions of dollars of damage done annually because of improperly towed trailers, B&W Trailer Hitches has stepped into the breach to help consumers learn how much weight their vehicles can safely handle.

“We do want to be seen as experts in towing, and not just a manufacturer of trailer hitches,” says Beth Barlow, marketing manager at B&W. “Anything we can do to be helpful for customers in their towing experience, we want to do.”

B&W recently published an interactive online guide to the towing capacity of all Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge Ram trucks from 2010 on, which finds the correct tow rating for each model, engine, transmission and bed of the truck, as well as the gross combination weight rating and the gross vehicle weight rating. The guide also takes the ratings question one step further and calculates the vertical weight, or tongue weight, which is the pounds of force that should be right over the ball in gooseneck, fifth wheel or bumper towing scenarios.

“We know people overload hitches all the time,” says Barlow, from the B&W headquarters in Humboldt, Kansas. “Obviously sometimes the trailer hitch is the weakest link, but sometimes it’s the trailer and sometimes it’s the truck.”

“Even if our trailer hitch is rated at 30,000 pounds, if your truck is only rated at (13,000 pounds) then guess what.”

B&W employees spent a couple years compiling the data for the online guide, and Barlow says the company never thought about the expense.

Most of the information was gleaned online, though some of the information also had to be found through old dealer catalogues.

“We have a lot of data dating back to 2003, but we only had comprehensive data going back to 2010, so we went with that,” Barlow says of the model years covered by the online guide.

“We’re kind of excited about it. It’s something we haven’t seen before, and we felt there was a real need for it,” she says. “A lot of our customers ask about how much they can tow, and don’t understand much of the other weight ratings.”

B&W is American made and sourced, but Barlow says that really didn’t play a role in the choice of which trucks have been included in the online guide.

“We’d love to have Toyota and Nissan on there, we just haven’t been able to find comprehensive data for them yet,” she says.

Each rating question requires nine drop-down buttons of information regarding the truck, so being comprehensive is a fairly tall order. True to its nature, B&W went as local as possible in sourcing the website solution, going to a Kansas City, Kansas, boutique website design company to integrate the databases, form submissions and output.

“It’s a pretty confusing topic, and a lot of people don’t understand a lot about it, but we’re in the business of trying to make complicated things understandable,” Barlow says. “I think we’ve done a little bit of good in that direction, and we hope that people will use it.”

To learn more, go to any of the product lines of the B&W website, click on “How Much Can You Tow?” and fill in the specifics of your American-made truck.