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The Good Sam Club has formed the RV Owners’ Advisory Council to evaluate and make recommendations on issues of importance to members of the national consumer organization.
According to a press release, Tom Gonser will chair the volunteer group. Gonser, who co-founded RVers Online with his wife Stephanie, is a Good Sam Club Life Member and former director of the American Bar Association.
“The Advisory Council will not create policy,” said Gonser. “However, it’s a way for RV owners to have input into establishing legislative and club policy. It’s also a new opportunity for Good Sam Club members to feel an even greater sense of ownership in the club they belong to.”
The council evolved from a call earlier this year from Sue Bray, executive director of the Good Sam Club, asking if Gonser would be willing to offer comment on some proposed industry legislation.
“I was aware of Tom’s background in corporate law, and as a reader of his website I also understood that they are, and intend to remain, independent in their online efforts,” said Bray. “I thought he was a good person to turn to for an analysis of this particular issue.”
Bray said she was highly sensitive to the fact that any position the Good Sam Club might take on an industry legislative proposal be consistent with the best interests of the members of the Good Sam Club. “It was in this context that I offered to provide my analysis of that particular issue,” said Gonser.
That conversation, in turn, led to the formation of the advisory council.
While the charter of the council is still evolving, its intended purpose is to help provide a constructive new avenue for dialogue between RV owners and other industry segments, including manufacturers, dealers, park owners and others with interests in the RV industry – including those RVer membership organizations that represent them.
“One key image I’d like to help create here is that the new council will offer Good Sam Club members a new means of expression for their interests and concerns with the key players in the RV industry,” said Gonser. “The club actually does quite a bit to promote member interests, but this will be the most tangible evidence of that yet. And to the extent we’re planning on relying on member input via e-mail and surveys, we hope the members will feel more empowered.”
Over the years, the Good Sam Club has worked on such issues as special driver’s license requirements for drivers of large motorhomes and trailers, RV weight limitations, RV-friendly highway signage, access to our public lands, gas rationing, along with dozens of restrictive RV parking ordinances that RVers face on a daily basis.
“As more and more issues at the state and national levels develop, we want to more actively involve our members in the process,” said Bray. “We have always tried to do the right thing for the RV owner – acting as an advocate for those of us who participate in the RV lifestyle.”