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 .
Fri Apr 13, 2018
Author: John Ghrist
U.S. Representative Dennis A. Ross (R-FL), co-chairman of the House RV Caucus, announced Wednesday that he would not be seeking re-election to his seat as a representative from Florida's 15th District. Ross is senior deputy majority whip in the U.S. House, as well as co-chairman of the House RV Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of legislators who function as champions of the recreational vehicle industry in Congress. The U.S. Senate also has an RV caucus.
Ross on Thursday reflected on the significance of the House RV Caucus.
"We are an informally organized caucus. We have members who have interest in the industry," Ross says. "We interact socially once a year at Advocacy Day," the annual advocacy event put on by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) as part of its annual Committee Week, "but also on the floor and in committees on the issues that impact the RV and recreational industry. For example, we’ll have a subcommittee hearing in Oversight and Government Reform on national parks, on forest services and the private partnerships that we’re looking to have to enhance the national forests and the parks. We’re kind of our own advocacy group on behalf of the industry."
The RV Caucus experience, Ross says, also has contributed significantly to the visibility of RV industry issues in Congress.
"Until we started this caucus, there was limited awareness as to what the industry did economically for this country, the impact that it has on taxes. Once we organized, we started slow, now we’ve gotten very large. Advocacy Day is becoming a talked-about opportunity for the members because they want to participate. And I think simply just saying we’ve raised the awareness as to how important this industry is and how practically it impacts families in this country" has been a significant achievement.
Ross says the House RV Caucus, and interest in the RV industry in general, promotes bipartisanship in a Congress that's viewed by many as hyper-partisan.
"When we introduce resolutions or we introduce legislation, it may sit in a committee and never get to the floor because it’s too partisan," Ross says. "The one thing about the RV industry and the one thing we’ve been able to do with the legislation that we support is make it bipartisan, which allows us to let it move through the Congress a lot quicker than it would if it wasn’t such a bipartisan endeavor."
Ross points to a universality of experience that contributes to RVing being considered less through a partisan lens than many other issues.
"Most of the members here probably either had an RV trip at one time or have done many with their families. It just gives you that sense that everything’s good in America when you’re in an RV," he says.
Ross says one of his favorite memories when he retires will be having been "able to share stories about RV experiences with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle."
Ross praises RVIA's Advocacy Day as an event that enhances the mood of cooperation surrounding RV issues.
"The consumers of RV products are not partisan, so it transcends our party lines. And it does the same thing in Congress. When Advocacy Day goes on, the RVIA appreciation is up here. it brings in everybody from all sides of the aisle . . . because it’s something that families love to do."
Ross noted that his love of RVing goes back to attending the 1962 Seattle World's Fair in his grandfather's 1960 Airstream, which Ross still owns and has reconditioned.
"By the time I was 12, I’d been to all continental 48 states in a travel trailer, and my wife and I over 20 years ago committed to doing the same thing with our boys. By the time they were 12 they had been to the continental 48 states in an RV and we’re on our fifth recreational vehicle right now."
Ross said he plans to remain actively involved with this year's RVIA Advocacy Day, scheduled for June 6.
"I’m business as usual until the end of my term . . . thereafter, quite frankly, I’ll probably spend a whole lot more time in my RV once I get out of Congress."
Registration for RVIA's Advocacy Day remains open to all RVIA members. For more information click here.