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: Elkhart County Emerging From Epic Flooding

Fri Feb 23, 2018
Author: Jeff Thomas

With a wary eye on rain forecast for this weekend, RV companies in Elkhart County, Indiana, appeared to weather the record-breaking flooding this week without huge interuptions.

The worst of the flooding appears to have occurred in Goshen, where many businesses were closed, as well as a main thouroughfare through town, U.S. Highway 33. This morning, the City of Goshen’s offices had reopened, and the highway and several other main streets were reopened, according to the city’s website.

“It was definitely worse in Goshen,” says Jarod Lippert, the VP of marketing and public relations for Lippert Components, Inc. “One of our parking lots in Goshen was flooded, and that’s just a little bit above the floodplain. We got lucky.”

At least one OEM shut down operations Thursday, but not because of flooding at the plant. The concern there was mostly for employees having trouble with flooding in their homes or getting to work.

St. Joseph County and South Bend jointly declared a state of emergency on Wednesday to begin the process of applying for federal aid, and Elkhart County also did so by teaming up with the cities of Elkhart and Goshen, according to an article in the South Bend Tribune. The counties plan to join other flood-ravaged political subdivisions across the state to apply for federal infrastructure funding, with damage expected to surpass the $10.2 million funding threshold.

The flooding across the Michiana area was record-setting, if not epic, with some calling it 100-year flooding and others, 500-year-flooding. For instance, the Elkhart River at Goshen surpassed its previous record level of 12.2 feet by nearly a foot, leaving as much as 4 feet of water on some commercial areas. Some of the best views of the flooding was an aerial photo montage provided by the Goshen News.

In Elkhart itself, the terrain kept most of the RV industry a little higher than the flooding, and people were able to more easily travel. Doug Moats, the communications and public relations manager at Jayco, says being removed from streams and rivers was a definite factor in staying dry.

But for many employees, that level of flooding was a huge concern for their homes.

“We had people with flooding in their homes and employees unable to make it to work,” says Coley Brady, the vice president of sales at Heartland RV. “The difficulty is having so many people out and trying to do our best work. You have to keep concentrating on quality, and we’re in the middle of a 100-year flood situation.”