About 100 people, including more than 30 non-RV owners, attended the 2017 RV Technical Education & Safety Conference Oct. 1-5 in Elizabethtown, Ky.
”That doesn’t sound like a great big number, but we want people to have a good experience with our instructors,” said Walter Cannon, executive director of the Florida-based Recreation Vehicle Safety and Education Foundation (RVSEF) that sponsored the event, now in its third year. ”People want information. We don’t teach repairs, but how thing work so that if they need a repair they’ve got a good idea about what to tell the repair shop.”
The conference convened at the Pritchard Community Center and included a hands-on three-hour driver’s training session for more than two dozen attendees.
For those without RVs, Class A and C motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth-wheels were provided for the driver’s training by Skaggs RV Country in Elizabethtown, which also hosted a welcome dinner for those attending.
”We are trying to get people comfortable behind the wheel because there is no substitute for experience,” Cannon said.
The core technical staff included Gary ”The RV Doctor” Bunzer; Randy Biles, owner of Pikes Peak Traveland in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Gary Motley of Motley RV Repair in Oklahoma City, Okla.
During the event, Bruce Hopkins, vice present of standards for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), explained the trade group’s role in the RV industry.
The main speaker was David Milhalick, senior director of vehicle safety and regulatory compliance for manufacturer Thor Industries Inc., who touched on how RV dealers differ from automobile dealers; what laws RVers need to comply with; and comparing an RV to a residential home.
Grand Design RV Co. was the newest sponsor of the conference, joining past sponsors Newmar Corp and Jayco Inc.
Proprietary instructors from Cequent Group, MORryde International, Demco, Lippert Components Inc. and Dicor Corp. also were on had to discuss their products.
Cannon reported that RVSEF will sponsor a two-day event in April at Stoltzfus RV and Marine in West Chester, Pa. Specific dates have not yet been set.