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A Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) task force was formed last month to examine the feasibility of encouraging RV owners to mount “grass roots” efforts to lobby the federal, state and local governments, according to Dave Humphreys, the RVIA president.

The RVIA Board voted to create the task force during the association’s Committee Week gathering in suburban Washington, D.C., in June.

Groups of RV owners could be very useful to the industry on issues such as access to federal government-owned lands, Humphreys said.

The task force will determine whether it would be feasible to help form such owners groups. Most likely, it will take until the end of this year, possibly until the summer of 2002, before conclusions are reached, Humphreys added.

“It’s ashamed we (the industry) aren’t using the RV owners’ (political) clout,” Humphreys added.

It’s Humphreys’ personal opinion that the industry should not “reinvent the wheel” and should consider working with the RV manufacturer’s clubs and other RV owners’ groups such as Affinity Group Inc.’s (AGI) Good Sam Club and the Family Motor Coach Association.

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“There’s a lot of loyalty to the clubs and it (positive outcomes from lobbying efforts) would add value to membership,” Humphreys added.

In a related matter, the board also approved a strategic plan that includes the RVIA “providing leadership to all segments of the RV industry” by 2004.

The RVIA, which represents RV manufacturers and suppliers, will not attempt to supplant the associations representing RV dealers or campground operators, Humphreys said.

“We (the RVIA) won’t form a dealers’ division,” Humphreys said. “But, personally, I feel we don’t tell enough people about what we do for the entire industry. For example, we lobby for a lot of things that help dealers.”