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Although it could take another year, Canada’s RV industry might follow its American counterpart in boosting its commitment to the industry’s Go RVing market expansion program.
Acting on the recommendation of the Go RVing Canada Coalition, the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDAC) approved a $75-per-unit assessment (Canadian) to pay for the program — an increase of 50% — at a Sept. 22 board meeting held in conjunction with the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Nashville, Tenn.
The hitch, however, is that the Canadian Recreation Vehicle Association (CRVA) and Camping*Campgrounds Canada (CCC) — RVDAC’s partners in the coalition — won’t meet until January to act on the proposed increase, and the additional money wouldn’t be available until 2004.
Also, an assessment hike is no certainty, said Go RVing Canada Executive Director Don Mockford, who is executive vice president of CRVA and CCC.
“Right now it’s up for some discussion,” Mockford said. “We won’t have an answer until January. I don’t really know what is going to happen.”
Through an agreement with its American counterpart, Go RVing Canada next year will use the new creative campaign being formulated by The Richards Group of Dallas for the U.S.
Because of a slump in RV sales in 2001, Canadian spending on Go RVing declined from $1.3 million (Canadian) in 2001 to $1 million (Canadian) this year. (One Canadian dollar is worth 63 cents in U.S. currency at current exchange rates.)
“Canadian dealers are very positive about Go RVing,” said RVDAC Executive Vice President Ernie Hamm. “They would like to see more money in the program so we can get it back to the level when we started it.”
In the U.S., Go RVing Coalition spending will increase to $15 million in 2003 — up from $12.6 million this year — to pay for a more aggressive program that will include network television and radio advertising.
The per-unit assessment in September increased in the United States from a flat $44 per unit to $55 for towables and $66 for motorhomes. The assessment for folding camping trailers and truck campers remained at $44.
The proposed assessment increase in Canada does not include a tiered fee structure.
And unlike the U.S., where the campaign relies on television, radio and print advertisements, Canada focuses primarily on television.
“It’s just the cost,” Mockford said. “We get more bang for our buck on television without diluting our message.”
The American campaign will run throughout 2003 and the Canadian will run from January through June.