RVs Move America Week is a time when the RV industry comes together to showcase the strength of the industry in meetings with federal policymakers across Capitol Hill, while collectively building a strategic roadmap to help define future growth of the industry.
As reported by RVIA News & Insights, during advocacy meetings, members of the RV industry will be advocating for policies that directly affect the RV industry each day.
If there is one bedrock issue that is driving the RV industry’s interest in outdoor recreation, it is campground modernization and expansion. The RV Industry Association’s (RVIA) government affairs team has taken a multi-pronged approach: working collaboratively with the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), while also setting up our own individual meetings with members of Congress and policymakers at the interior, agriculture and commerce Departments. The team has also met with the professional staff on key Congressional Committees to promote campground modernization and expansion at every turn.
Currently, the country has Eisenhower-era federal campground infrastructure, crumbling roads and bridges, deferred maintenance needs and limited camping availability. These are critical issues for the outdoor recreation industry and is a particularly critical issue for the RV industry. Inadequate campgrounds limit access to outdoor recreation opportunities and negatively impact the visitor experience.
Deferred maintenance costs are stacking up at key federal land agencies, like the National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The Department of the Interior has over $16 billion in deferred maintenance costs. Of that total, NPS has the largest share at nearly $12 billion.
According to the most recent NPS Asset Inventory Summary there is $78 million in campground infrastructure deferred maintenance needs, as well as over $6.5 billion in deferred maintenance directly affecting roads, bridges, and water systems on NPS lands. Additionally, deferred maintenance for all USFS infrastructure totals $5.2 billion. That means that many of the campgrounds on federal lands are in dire need of facility upgrades including trail maintenance, water systems, access roads, utilities, bridge and tunnel repairs and more.
The benefits of expanding and improving the outdoor recreation economy are clear and compelling. When Americans participate in outdoor recreation such as RVing and camping, they purchase gas, gear, equipment and food. In return the outdoor recreation industry contributes $65.3 billion in annual tax revenue to federal coffers.
In fact, a recent study confirmed that for every dollar Congress invests in the National Park Service, $10 is returned to the U.S. economy—which directly benefits our nation’s rural areas and gateway communities.
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