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Twelve members of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) will be displaying new products at the National RV Trade Show Dec. 2-4 in Louisville, Ky.
The manufacturing firms divvied up some 18,900 square feet in the Broadbent Arena at the Kentucky Exposition Center that became available in early October.
“We’re back, and that’s a good thing,” Bill Garpow, RPTIA executive director, told RVBusiness.
In March, citing a traditional waiting list for Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) members to display their products in Louisville, the RVIA board decided not to invite park model manufacturers to Louisville.
With the industry downturn, however, the Louisville Show didn’t sell out for the first time in many years and in September the RVIA board reversed its position.
The 12 firms include: Breckenridge Division of Thor Industries Inc., Nappanee, Ind.; Cavco Industries Inc., Phoenix, Ariz.; Chariot Eagle Inc., Ocala, Fla.; CrossRoads RV, Topeka, Ind.; DNA Enterprises Inc.-Canterbury, Goshen, Ind.; Dutch Park Homes Inc., Goshen; Fairmont Homes Inc., Nappanee; Heritage Park Models Inc., Elkhart, Ind.; Kropf Industries Inc., Goshen; Skyline Corp., Elkhart; Trophy Homes Inc., Elkhart; and Woodland Park Inc., Middlebury, Ind.
At the RPTIA’s annual meeting Oct. 24 held at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., Garpow apprised members on discussions RPTIA held with RVIA at the end of September in Chicago to iron out their differences. The two groups are scheduled to meet again at the Louisville Show, Garpow said.
During the annual meeting, Joel Pladson, president of Star Fleet Inc., was elected to a three year-term on the board, representing suppliers, and Lyn Hart of Terra Del Mar Development LLC was re-elected to a three-year term as a board representative from the park and campground industry.
All officers were re-elected to another term, including: President Curt Yoder, Kropf Industries; Vice President Kevin Wells, DNA Enterprises Inc.-Canterbury; Secretary Joe Follman, Chariot Eagle; Treasurer Olin Wenrick, Trophy Homes; and Immediate Past-President Tim Howard, Breckenridge.
Garpow also brought members up to date on events occurring this year that affected the park trailer industry. Among them:
• A longstanding dispute with the Department of Community Affairs in New Jersey over the regulation of park trailers has been resolved at a “95% level of satisfaction for RPTIA,” Garpow said. RPTIA remains concerned that all park trailers must be tied down on site and that no trailer can be occupied for more than six months of the year. The latter will hurt campgrounds and their “shoulder” seasons, which extend beyond the six-month limit, he said.
• The RPTIA also interceded this year in Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia, South Dakota and Maryland on behalf of the park trailer industry when county or state administrative agencies misinterpreted rules and regulations and went against the industry. Garpow said the association was able to prevail in each case.
• Garpow reported on an Oct. 15 meeting RPTIA had in Washington, D.C., with the Mobile Home Consensus Committee within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Garpow said RPTIA was “pleasantly surprised” to learn HUD has been kept informed about what the association has been doing to promote park trailers as vacation or seasonal units and to discourage their use as domiciles. “HUD felt what we have been doing is appropriate,” Garpow said.
• Garpow reported that net membership has held steady during the industry downturn this year but that the organization, which generates some 70% of its revenue from the sale of new-unit seals, has had to make some staffing cutbacks. In addition, the association agreed to dip into its reserves to help meet its budget.