The decision last week to increase the funding for the Go RVing national advertising campaign will provide “the resources to reach more new buyers,” according to Craig Jensen, chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Board of Directors.
“The industry has a unique opportunity to grow the market in the coming months and we must seize that opportunity,” added Jensen, principal of the Blaine Jensen & Sons dealership in Kaysville, Utah.
The Go RVing Coalition last week voted to recommend a 58% increase in the ad campaign budget for next year. The coalition’s recommendation was approved last week by the RVDA and Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) boards.
“I feel that this is a tremendous decision for the future of the RV business,” added Jeff Pastore of Hartville RV Center, Hartville, Ohio, and member of the RVDA board. “Go RVing Coalition Chairman Tom Faludy did an excellent job (during the meeting on June 10) of getting everyone’s views on the table. The input from all product segments will pay big dividends in years to come.”
The decision last week means the national ad campaign will have a $15 million budget next year, compared with this year’s $9.5 million. It will be funded by higher fees for RVIA certification seals for motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth-wheels.
The seal fees will be raised to $66 per motorhome and $55 per travel trailer and fifth-wheel beginning around Oct. 1. Currently, the seal fee for all types of RVs is $44 per unit.
The seal fee for folding campers and truck campers will remain at $44 each.
One reason for the decision to raise seal fees came from the fact that although RV shipments are up this year versus 2001, they remain below year 2000 levels. When compared with the first four months of 2001, this year’s shipments of all RV products are up 10.3% to 102,000 units. However, this year’s volume is down 13.9% when compared with the 118,500 units shipped during the first four months of 2000.
Many industry insiders believe this year’s total shipments will be greater than last year’s total, but by less than 10%.
The coalition also decided to accept the recommendation from its ad agency, The Richards Group of Dallas, to increase spending in 2003, because sharp increases in ad rates are anticipated in 2004.