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    The timing of RV manufacturers’ model release dates was a prime topic during the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association’s (TRVA) annual meeting Aug. 15-17 at the La Cantera Hill Country Resort in San Antonio.

During a 2 1/2-hour dealers-only meeting, frustration was expressed – as it has been for years by recreational vehicle dealers to no avail – that models for the following year sometimes debut as early as March in the previous year.

”Dealers feel that something needs to change,” said Phil Elam, executive director of the TRVA, which represents a wide spectrum of dealers, suppliers, campground owners and others with business interests in the RV sector. ”We plan to have a conversation with manufacturers in that regard. For the larger dealers that turn their inventory three or four times a years, that’s not a concern. But for small dealers, that’s a huge concern.

”As an industry, Texas sells the most RVs in the country,” he added. “If other states feel the same way, the manufacturers will have to pay attention. We’d like to be at the forefront of that conversation.”

Elam reported that 184 people, including 80 personnel from 76 Texas dealerships, attended the annual three-day meeting that concluded with the election of new officers.

Phil Elam Phil Elam

Saturday night featured a casual networking event with meeting sponsors that included Coast Distribution, NTP/Stag, Bank of the West, Diversified Insurance Management, Interstate National Dealers Services, BB&T Recreational Finance, Bank of America, Coach-Net, GE Capital, Ally Financial, Dealer Resources Group, American Guardian, Medallion Bank, TCF Inventory Fiance, Protective, CDK Global Recreation and South Texas RV SuperSale LLC.

Outgoing President J.T. Bowyer, a Silver Star recipient wounded during the first Gulf War and owner of Lone Star RV Center in Harker Heights, spoke Sunday during the President’s Dinner in full-dress uniform about how lucky he is in life and to be part of the RV business.

He offered President’s Awards to four people, including former Director of Special Events Mary Claire Campos, who left the association in June after nine years. Campos was replaced by Connie Yung.

Others receiving the President’s Award were Doug O’Banion, owner of Motor Home Specialists, Alvarado; Scott Lougheed, owner of Crestview RV Centers, Buda; and Allen Libbe, owner of CCRV, Corpus Christi.

New officers elected during the meeting were President John Crouch, RV Station, Donna; Vice President Peggy Johnson-Lee, Western Campgrounds, Fort Worth; Treasurer, Teri Coker, Bank of America, Round Rock; and Secretary P.J. Buerger, Princess Craft, Round Rock.