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: Maryland RV Show Reports Brisk Sales

Thu Feb 28, 2019
Author: RV News Staff

155138505823401.pngThe two-weekend Maryland RV Show completed its run at the Maryland State Fairgrounds with good attendance and mostly positive reports regarding RV sales. The show drew 36,840, which show manager Rich Kohles says was up over 2018. About 400 units were on display.

“We had good weather, and that always produces a good show,” Kohles says. “We were up about 16 percent and that’s a good increase. Dealers and campgrounds said sales were brisk. People were even buying a lot of expensive Class As. Sales of smaller teardrops were good as were mid-range travel trailers and high-end fifth wheels.”

Greg Merkel, owner of Leo’s Vacation Center in Gambrills, Md., brought more than 50 units. He reports good sales.

“People came to buy,” says Merkel, who serves as the show’s treasurer. “There were a lot of families with strollers and a lot of millennials, which to me are all good signs of strong business going forward.”

Merkel says he was optimistic before the show about a strong 2019 and is even more so now. He says he bought a lot of inventory last fall to beat the price increases due to tariffs so his customers won’t be hit with sticker shock.

“We will see if that has any effect on things once we hit summertime,” Merkel says. “With interest rates creeping up over the past year and increases due to tariffs, that could curtail business. By buying inventory last fall, we can beat at least one of those obstacles.”

Merkel says the show’s two-weekend format works well and helps mitigate the potential effects of bad weather.

Steve Shapiro, owner at Chesaco RV, which has three stores in Maryland and one in Pennsylvania, says he saw a lot of enthusiasm on the show floor. He brought more than 100 units to the show. He says sales were good.

“There were a lot of first-time buyers,” Shapiro says, “and a lot of interested people who may have camped in the past.”

Kelly Shonholtzer, general manager and owner of Beckley’s Camping Center in Thurmont, Md., says traffic was up, but his sales were down from previous years. He brought 67 units to the show.

“Our high-end units did well,” Shonholtzer says. “We did well with fifth wheels.”
Kelly Shonholtzer, general manager and owner of Beckley’s Camping Center in Thurmont, Md., says traffic was up, but his sales were down from previous years. He brought 67 units to the show.

“Our high-end units did well,” Shonholtzer says. “We did well with fifth wheels.”
Scott Purcell, owner of Economy RVs in Mechanicsville, Md., brought 26 units. He describes the show as “average” for sales, but notes that some of his fifth-wheel floorplans did exceptonally well. He has high hopes for the year.

“January was a good month for us,” Purcell says. “February started slow. We are loaded with inventory, which I think most dealers are. As long as interest rates stabilize and we don’t have any upticks in rates, we should be fine.”