While the big news from the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) annual Committee Week dealt with the selection of former Outdoor Industry Foundation (OIA) President Frank Hugelmeyer to succeed the retiring Richard Coon as president of Reston, Va.-based RVIA, there was plenty of activity in the park model RV arena which, at least in part, fuels the nation’s expanding destination camping trend.
RVIA’s Seasonal Camping Committee, comprised largely of park model RV manufacturers who vacated the former Recreation Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) three years ago to join RVIA, took the next step toward integrating affairs with the nation’s RV industry by voting to invest their own financial marketing reserves into the Go RVing Coalition’s national marketing campaign.
In return, Go RVing’s Dallas-based agency, the Richards Group, will be incorporating more seasonal camping content into its national promotions on TV, in print magazines, on the Internet and at live events throughout the country. And while this news story may get lost to an extent in the flood of updates surfacing from Committee Week, it was a watershed moment for park model RV builders like Kropf Manufacturing Co. Inc. Vice President Curt Yoder and Champion Home Builders’ Director of Athens Park Model Sales Dick Grymonprez – both of whom joined RVIA’s board in the summer of 2012.
Yoder says the park model RV builders were impressed with the agency’s seasonal camping presentation at Committee Week and, overall, with the treatment they’ve received from RVIA since first joining up on a conditional basis three years ago.
“Basically, since the time we started with RVIA, a portion of our seal money has been earmarked and we’d built up a pretty substantial nest egg, and the purpose of that nest egg was to promote seasonal camping with the Go RVing Coalition’s campaign,” Yoder told RVBUSINESS.com. “And there had been some discussions as to how it was going to be funded – how much would the park model trailer guys pay and how much RVIA would kick in. We had those discussions, but nothing was ever formalized. So, we basically decided as a committee that we’re all in with the Go RVing campaign, and the funds we have will be used to promote destination camping within the RVIA campaign. We feel that we’ve earned their (RVIA’s) trust and they’ve earned our trust, and we’re all in this together. We believe in it and we’re going full speed ahead with it.”
Suffice to say it’s a significant turn of events for the park model RV builders, the national trade association and those who tend to follow the emerging destination camping trend. Yet, one of the most impressive twists came at the end of the Seasonal Camping Committee’s meeting, when the panel did the unthinkable – especially in Washington D.C. – by voting to dissolve itself in deference to the Park Model RV Committee on which most of its members also sit.
“That’s correct,” said Yoder. “The whole purpose of that committee when we put it together was to determine how we present and advertise ourselves within the Go RVing Coalition. And we feel that we accomplished everything that we set out to do and, therefore, we didn’t feel that it was necessary to continue that committee because the whole purpose of it was to figure out how we want to promote destination camping. We feel we solved that problem.”