Last week, 114 participating advocates and guides took part in 101 meetings with Senators from 27 states and Representatives from 54 different districts on issues critical to the growth of the industry.
This all happened during Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, a day organized by the RV Industry Association (RVIA) Government Affairs team, which places the RV industry agenda front and center, and capped off an exciting RVs Move America Week.
The event began with multiple days of committee meetings where volunteers from across the RV industry collectively worked to define and tackle the most important issues currently facing a growing RV industry. Just how much the RV industry has grown was captured by the release of the new RVs Move America Economic Impact Study, revealing an overall annual economic impact to the US economy of $140 billion, supporting nearly 680,000 jobs and paying more than $48 billion in wages. This is a 23% increase in economic output in just the past three years.
The $140 billion total annual RV industry economic impact includes:
- $73.7 billion generated by RV manufacturers and suppliers
- $35.7 billion by RV campgrounds and related travel
- $30.5 billion by RV sales and service activities
In addition to the economic impact, the RV industry contributes $13.6 billion in federal, state and local taxes.
During the event, RV industry members who have made exceptional contributions to the success of the RV industry were recognized. RV Industry Association Chair Jeff Rutherford presented several of the Association’s annual awards honoring exceptional achievements in the areas of RV standards, education, and service to the industry. Awardees included:
- Distinguished Achievement in RV Standards Award: Tim Schlabach, THOR Industries
- National Education Service Award: Doug Gaeddert, Forest River
- David J. Humphreys RV Industry Unity Award: Garry Enyart, Onan/Cummins
- Distinguished Service to the RV Industry Award: Kevin Phillips, Thetford Corporation/Airxcel.
As the impact of RV industry continues to grow, its influence in Washington is vital for the future success of the industry. More than 100 industry advocates met with policymakers to highlight the $140 billion dollar industry. This compelling economic story provided a great backdrop for our members and staff to urge members of Congress to support investments in infrastructure and promote outdoor recreation needs and federal reforms the RV and camping industry need to truly thrive. The following actions were urged:
- Support the bipartisan America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (S.3266)
- Support the establishment of grant and incentive programs for state and local governments, as well as the private sector, to build a robust rural network of EV charging stations
- Reauthorization of the GSP program with a six year or longer renewal term and inclusion of all Indonesian lauan
- Discussions on Capitol Hill were extremely positive, as legislators and their staff recognized the fundamental change happening in the way Americans are prioritizing time in the great outdoors and embracing the freedom that comes with RVing.
Those who didn’t participate can still make their voice heard on these important issues by asking members of Congress to support the $140 billion RV industry by joining the RV Caucus.
It’s clear, 2022 RVs Move America was a huge success. And it wouldn’t be possible without the support of event sponsors Airxcel, THOR Industries, Winnebago Industries, Patrick Industries, Truma, Forest River, Alliance RV, REV Group, Thetford, and Bank of America.
As the week in DC concluded, a national campaign was kicking off. Celebrated the second Saturday of June, National Go RVing Day called on the RV industry and consumers alike to celebrate the joys of RVing by heading out to their favorite outdoor destination for a weekend of RVing.