Dave Hanley, an RV industry entrepreneur and publisher of the Recreational Vehicle Directory, passed away May 12 in Lake Geneva, Wis. He was 85.
Hanley’s Recreational Vehicle Directory, created with his brother, Tom, was an advertising tool and buyers guide for small- to medium-size motorhomes in the growing RV market.
Hanley then formed a relationship with the Family Motor Coaching Association (FMCA), which was still in in its infancy. That relationship started in the middle 1970s and lasted until his retirement about 10 years ago. Hanley eventually hired Beverly Gardner, recently retired from G&G Media Group, to sell advertising in the FMCA monthly publication. They quickly became fixtures at all major industry events and developed long-standing relationships with leaders in the RV industry.
In the mid 1970s, Hanley and his brother finalized a deal with Greyhound to convert commercial buses into custom motorcoaches for personal use – in the early stages of the bus conversion era — later taking the conversion coach on the RV show circuit while trying to develop a market.
But Hanley may be best known for his Van Conversion Buyers Guide, modeled after the recreational vehicle directory but tailored to van conversions. It was the first publication of its kind and provided an advertising opportunity for the van conversion sector – once a significant facet of the “RV” industry. In turn, Hanley created “Van 84,” a van conversion expo held in the Superdome in New Orleans to attract car dealers who were in the market for van conversions to fill their lots.
Hanley is survived by his son, Mike, daughter Kathe, son-in-law Arnie and his two granddaughters, Lilly and Kate.