The Recreation Vehcile Industry Association’s (RVIA) board capped an intense week of activity at Committee Week, June 8-11, by approving an increase in the RVIA seal price to $35 to help address the growing pressure on the association’s budget caused by the reduction in show and dues income because of the downturn in the RV market.

 “This decision was given very serious consideration by the RVIA executive committee and board of directors,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “There was overwhelming support for the action to avoid any further program cuts or staff reductions that would have compromised RVIA’s mission to promote and protect the interests of our membership and the RV industry.”

Two rounds of program and staff cuts in September 2008 and February 2009 saw a $3.2 million lowering of the RVIA budget and the loss of nearly 25% of association staff, RVIA reports in a Friday afternoon (June 12) release. More cuts would have been needed in the fiscal year 2010 budget due primarily to a severe decrease in association revenue caused by the declines in exhibit space reservations at the association’s two RV shows. The wholesale National RV Trade Show is currently down nearly 35% while the consumer California RV Show has seen a nearly 70% reduction in demand for show space.

“The increased seal cost is needed to cover a significant shortfall in RVIA income,” explained RVIA Chairman Jim Sheldon, a Monaco RV LLC executive. “This will not yield a net increase to the very conservative budget we’ve operated under for the past year. In fact, even with the new seal revenue, the association will be operating with $2.5 million less than we did in 2008.  From the board of directors’ perspective, the increase was essential to preserve the viability of the association. We did not want to suffer any further reductions in services at this critical time when the industry needs RVIA the most.”

The $30.95 seal fee increase will apply to all member manufacturer vehicle types and, added to the existing $4.05 cost, brings the total now to $35 per seal. In addition to the RVIA seal cost, the per unit assessment for Go RVing remains in place at the current levels of $46 for folding camping trailers and truck campers, $61 for travel trailers and fifth-wheel travel trailers, and $74 for motorhomes. The new seal costs take effect July 1.

In other action during  its June 11 meeting in Washington, D.C., the board:

  • Amended the association bylaws to encourage greater member participation on the RVIA board. Through the revisions, those holding a past chairman seat on the board may elect to serve indefinitely in a non-voting seat designated as “Past Chairman Emeritus.” This will allow another representative from their member company to serve on the board in a voting capacity. Additionally, association members who hold more than one classification of membership (i.e., a separate manufacturer and supplier membership) may have voting member representatives from each of those respective classifications on the board.
  • Voted to hold a combined Annual Meeting and Committee Week event in South Bend, Ind., in June 2010 with the intent of returning the Committee Week event to Washington, D.C. in 2011. Additionally, RVIA will hold its spring board meeting and a related Capitol Hill Advocacy Day event in Washington, D.C., in March 2010.
  • Approved the recommendation that Tim Tiffin of Tiffin Motor Homes replace Bob Tiffin as a member of the RVIA board.
  • Adopted the CARB implementation timeline for Phase 2, based on the date of manufacture.
  • Voted to allow any RV manufacturer that had purchased space in the California RV Show by March 30 the opportunity to purchase up to 50% more space at a rate of $2.00 per square foot on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, vehicles to be displayed at the show are limited to each manufacturer’s current and previous model year, not including 2008 models, and the previous model year may only consist of up to 50% of the total number of units.
  • Increased the availability of “be-back” tickets to manufacturers and dealers exhibiting at the California RV Show and added an additional dollar admission day to the event, bringing the total number of dollar days to four.
  • Approved the FY2010 RV Market Expansion and Reinforcement Program proposed by Barton-Gilanelli & Associates, subject to budget considerations. This consists of the RV Top-of-Mind Awareness Program, including national electronic and print media outreach, social media initiatives, RV media luncheons and RV spokesperson activity.
  • Approved a motion to be forwarded to the Certification Governing Board modifying the continuing education requirements from 48 to 40 credit hours, or completion of a Trouble Shooter Clinic or the Certification Test Prep Course.
  • Approved the creation of a two-tier RV technician career path with the development of the supporting DACUMS to be completed in early 2010.
  • Established a standing technical Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs to the Standards Steering Committee.
  • Commissioned a task force of  the Supplier Committee and National Show Committee members to explore methods to showcase innovative technologies and future trends at the National RV Trade Show.
  • Named the following as RVIA representatives on the RVDA-RVIA Certification Governing Board: Jeff Rutherford (Certification Governing Board vice chairman), Carefree of Colorado; Garry Enyart, Onan/Cummins Power Generation; Jack Tierney, Thetford Corp.; Dave Eash, Jayco Inc.; Steve Evenson, Winnebago Industries Inc.; and Janae Kurtz, Damon Corp.