John Anderson, founder and executive director of the Recreation Vehicle Safety Education Foundation (RVSEF), will retire on July 1 and he will hand over the reins to Walter Cannon, RVSEF’s Florida-based director of operations.
“I think we’ve accomplished some significant things,” said Anderson of Chuckey, Tenn., who created the not-for-profit foundation in 2001 after operating A’Weigh We Go, a company that promoted RV weight and tire safety for nine years.
“The biggest thing that we made happen was that manufacturers now have to disclose the weights of empty vehicle,” Anderson said. “I’m not going to claim total credit for that. But if it had not been for us, they would not have done that.”
The foundation, which is operating this year on a $280,000 budget, began shipping in January a series of nine consumer manuals that cover basic RV safety issues.
Anderson said about 3,000 sets of manuals — out of an initial printing of 10,000 — already have been sold, primarily through RV clubs and the RVSEF’s website (www.rvsaftey.org).
The manuals retail for $39.95, with RV club members receiving a $10 discount.
Cannon, a full-time RVer for 15 years starting in the mid-1980s and a former service manager and service employee at several large RV dealerships in Florida, has coordinated three teams of RVers employed by RVSEF to weigh RVs at about 70 RV rallies annually.
“I want the foundation to become the safety arm of the RV industry,” Cannon said. “As the industry grows, safety issues are taking on a higher priority. Being a new foundation, we still need to establish ourselves, but I hope that at some point we will be able to fund other safety-related programs.”
Anderson said he will continue to work with the foundation, maintaining a database on the more than 20,000 RVs that Anderson has weighed since founding A’Weigh We Go in 1992 and helping the foundation raise money.
“There is the aspect that people support the foundation because they trust me,” Anderson said. “I need to make sure that trust transfers to Walter.”
RVSEF’s new address and telephone numbers are:
4575 Annette Court
Merritt Island, Fla 32953
Voice: 321-453-7673
Fax: 321-453-3853