> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association’s (RVDA) Board of Delegates discussed the availability of retail and wholesale financing for the RV industry at their meeting last month, which factored into the association’s recent launch of an RV “Lenders Toolbox” to help dealers find wholesale and retail financing sources.
The exit of several national lenders means RV dealers need to renew or develop relationships with their local banks and credit unions, according to several delegates.
The RVDA “Lenders Toolbox” includes lists of regional RV lenders as well as access to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Annual Survey of Lenders’ Experiences. The survey shows the long-term profitability and low default rate of RV loans and also helps demonstrate the financial stability of the typical RV customer to prospective lenders.
RVDA is also working with RVIA and other industry advocates to attract lenders through direct outreach using lender trade associations and personal contact with potential RV lenders.
In today’s volatile lending environment, the RVDA delegates agreed that it is vital for dealers to have contingency plans prepared for both retail and wholesale lending at their dealerships.
The Board of Delegates also discussed the Go RVing program and the decline in new unit assessment revenue. Delegates agreed that the new unit assessment amounts should be reviewed with an eye on developing new messages for the advertising campaign in 2010, so the industry can take advantage of what is expected to be a stronger RV market.
Delegates also reviewed the Brand Committee structure and the Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI). Delegates determined that the Brand Committee meetings with manufacturers are a viable outlet to discuss how Committee on Excellence recommendations on product quality, IT standards, warranty and parts policies should be implemented.
In other action, the Board of Delegates elected Jeff Hirsch as an RVDA director. The delegates also elected Ed Collier, Will Jarnot, John McCluskey, Paul Minton, Amy Pennington, Steve Plemmons, David Sothan, Ray Stalkup, and Tim Wegge as at large delegates.
Separately, RVDA’s board met Sept. 22 to take action on two Recreation Vehicle Assistance Corp. (RVAC) recommendations and fill volunteer leadership positions.
At the meeting, the board:
• Approved Coach-Net as RVDA’s endorsed provider of RV operational, technical, and emergency roadside assistance. The approval is conditional upon legal review.
• Approved exploring the development of a more robust RV career center that includes job openings.
• Re-elected Newt Kindlund, Matthew Miller, Dan Pearson, and Ed Thor to the RVDA Education Foundation board. Also, elected Steve Plemmons to the RVDA Education Foundation board.
• Elected Jeff Pastore and Andy Heck to the RVDA-RVIA Technician Certification Governing Board.