The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles & Campgrounds (MARVAC) exceeded attendance expectations by nearly 40% during the association’s Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show, Sept. 30-Oct. 4 at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, the Okemos-based association reports.

Fact is, the Detroit Show recorded its best attendance since 2003.

“The show was scaled back to two-thirds of its usual display space,” MARVAC reported in its latest “Industry Insights” newsletter, ”but show attendees did not seem to notice, as there were still nearly 250 RVs on display inside and outside the exhibition facility. Dealers were reporting good sale numbers on Sunday evening after the show closed.

“MARVAC campground members who participated seemed pleased with the number of 2010 reservations taken during the show,” the association told its membership. “It was also mentioned by several exhibitors that there were a large number of first-time buyers in the crowd, a promising factor in planning for spring shows and sales. MARVAC will begin sending out commitment forms for the Flint and Detroit Camper & RV Shows later this month. Based on what was seen during last week’s show, MARVAC members will want to get their show commitments in early.”

MARVAC’s staff and several current and past board members hosted a luncheon prior to the show’s opening on Sept. 26, for local credit union managers at which the attendees were shown the seven minute video entitled “RV Financing: A Vehicle for Growth.”

Tim DeWitt, executive director, and Bill Sheffer, director, then shared some statistics and encouraged the credit union managers to consider both retail lending and wholesale financing as solid business investments. Drew Egan, president of CU Corp, developer of the Invest In America financing campaign that has been so successful in the automotive industry, spoke and suggested the same program is applicable to the RV industry.

A future meeting is being planned to expand wholesale floorplan lending by credit unions – a stated goal for many companies in the RV industry in its quest to ease the credit crunch.

In a related matter beyond the Detroit Show, meanwhile, MARVAC reports in its Oct. 7 newsletter that RV break-ins are on the rise. “Over the past ten days,” MARVAC’s staff stated, “it has been reported to the association office that several Michigan RV dealers have experienced unit break-ins. The main target has been high end electronics, including flat screen TVs and sound systems. Dealers are reporting that thieves seemed to be fairly knowledgeable about entering the units and removing the equipment with minimal damage. Security measures are being stepped up where and when it is possible.”