The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) board of directors on Thursday (June 9) voted to repeal an exemption for manufacturers from the Go RVing portion of the RVIA seal fees granted last fall on units sold to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for use by hurricane victims.
The board also ratified an increase in the cost of RVIA seals to raise an estimated additional $8.4 million over the next three years to finance 6% annual inflationary increases in the cost of Go RVing advertising.
The two actions were taken as the RVIA board met at the conclusion of RVIA Committee Week at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, D.C.
“There was quite a bit of discussion about the FEMA issue,” said Bruce Hopkins, RVIA vice president of standards and education. “FEMA was not mentioned in the resolution, but basically there are no exceptions any more. All units manufactured in the U.S. are required to pay the RVIA seal fee.”
The exemption was repealed on the recommendation of the Go RVing Coalition, whose members were concerned that it had originally been granted when federal officials said trailers used for emergency housing would be refurbished and stored for use during subsequent emergencies – and not resold as used units on the open market.
Recently, however, FEMA began to auction these same used units on the Internet.
FEMA is estimated to have purchased 18,647 units for $316.9 million from both manufacturers and dealers.
As for the Go RVing seal fee hike, the cost of the seal that RVIA manufacturer members apply to each unit they build will increase $2-$8 on Oct. 1 to finance the fourth three-year phase of the Go RVing market expansion campaign. The campaign will kick off with new print, Internet and TV ads after the first of the year.
The fee hike, according to the coalition’s leadership, was worked out in advance by representatives of RVIA and the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) prior to the coalition’s June 6 meeting.
Beginning Oct. 1, the Go RVing portion of the seal fee will rise $8 to $74 for motorhomes, $6 to $61 for travel trailers and fifth-wheels and $2 to $46 for truck campers and folding camping trailers. Between 2006-2008, the Go RVing Coalition is budgeted to spend $67.8 million on national advertising – up from $59.3 million during the 2002-2005 period.