Social media is leaving RV industry in the dust

(Jan. 6, 2014) — When it comes to social media and online engagement, much of what the RV industry does today is garbage. It’s irrelevant, unnecessary and actually annoying people. They are tuning out what companies often put out for consumption.

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Oregon court ruling may pose problems for campgrounds

(Dec. 31, 2013) — “€œHis truck was there, his tent was there, and for a week that was going to be his residence,”€ said Wolf’s attorney. “His kitchen was outside over the fire. He would have a folding chair. That would have been his living room. So I would suggest that the entire camp space, not the campground, but that space that he had rented, is his residence.”

I am no lawyer, but such a ruling seems to put campground owners in a very uncomfortable position. If they lease space to an RVer or camper, what kind of restrictions can they place on campers when in their rented “homes.” Can campground owners really dictate whether their guests have guns, can smoke, play loud music, or enforce a quiet hour?

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What a difference a vacation makes

(Dec. 31, 2013) — Last year, I put on 30,000 miles on my car driving to 27 states for various RV meetings, trade shows and interviews. I also spent about 50 nights in hotel rooms of greatly varying quality. When complaining about it last fall, someone reminded me that there are companies build these things that travel down the highway AND have their own bed, kitchen, bathroom, TV, refrigerator and even storage. So, resolution No. 2 is to get back into the game and to get another RV.

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Nothing is ‘too small’ for the feds to regulate

(Dec. 16, 2013) –If there is a familiar refrain when federal compliance issues are being discussed, it usually goes something like this, “We’re too small for the regulators to pay any attention to us.” Sometimes business owners will also say, like a very well-known Ohio retailer said in a private meeting,

“I’m doing the right thing and I have all the local judges in my pocket, so I don’t have to worry about all this compliance stuff.” If there ever was a story to give anyone operating illegally a reason to reconsider, it was in The Wall Street Journal Oct. 29. According to the story written by Kimberley A. Strassel. The FTC has decided to make the world safe from greedy piano teachers.

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Why is running a business a ‘privilege?’

(Dec. 11, 2013) — I just don’t see how running a business is a state-bestowed “privilege” granted to people who want to invest their own money and put it all at risk in hopes of building a thriving business that grows large enough to hire residents of the state to work at the company. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

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Florida dealer proposes the Affordable RV Act

(Dec. 10, 2013) — This law has been proposed, because until now, typically only financially responsible and working people have been able to purchase RV’s. This new law will ensure that every American can now have an “affordable” RV of their own, because everyone is “entitled” to an RV.

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Silos come down in Australia

(Nov. 27, 2013) — Earlier this week, the Caravan RV and Accommodation Industry of Australia (CRVA) announced it would be merging with the Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers Association (RVMA). This is the equivalent of seeing the RV Industry Association, RV Dealers Association and National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds come under the same umbrella here in America. How refreshing that would be.

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New initiative underway to improve citizenship

(Nov. 25, 2013) — OK, I’ll ‘fess up. I want to be part of a big idea that gets this nation back on course. I was one of about 40 people spending all morning at a session hosted by the Franklin Project to talk about a major initiative to improve citizenship in the United States.

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White House admits record taxes to be collected in 2014

(Nov. 15, 2013) — The White House released its monthly treasury statement a few days ago in which it predicts it will bring in $3.023 billion in taxes next year — that’s $29,673 for every full-time worker in the country, or $9,543 for every man, woman and child currently living in the country. I’m just baffled at this figure, especially when the U.S. Census Bureau released figures a month ago showing the real median incomes for a family household in 2012 was $64,053.

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Warning: Kicking the same old can too long can damage your health

(Nov. 14, 2013) — The only reason I’m doing a “semi-rant” in an industry publication is that if we don’t resolve “governing by crisis” and put our financial affairs in order, it will eventually and negatively affect our industry. We’re “bullet resistant” as an industry, not “bullet proof.” Regardless of what happens on the spending/debt limit issues in January and February, within reason, our industry is going to continue to healthily grow. I just don’t want to see us get forced to “settle for a field goal.”

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Spammers are relentless; online users need to be, too

(Nov. 13, 2013) — We made the switch the weekend of Oct. 26. In the past seven days, our spam control system has rejected 4,689 spam comments. That’s about 28 an hour from various robots and people in third world countries trying to get links for drugs, boots, jewelry and just about everything else posted to stories on our website.

What is even more disturbing and eye opening is the number of intrusions that have been blocked by hackers looking to access our website to get user information. We have blocked more than 20 IP addresses in the past week alone.

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Winter’s on its way – is your coach ready?

(Oct. 30, 2013) — The solitude and scenery of winter camping can be refreshing. For those adventurous souls who don’t plan to migrate south for the winter with their RVs, we at Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation would like to offer a few tips for prepping your motorhome for colder temperatures:

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How much is Marcus willing to “pay to play?”

(Oct. 25, 2013) — Someone sent me this image yesterday. Apparently Camping World would like to see Tim Tebow play for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

I wonder how much money Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis is willing to pay the team to bring Tebow on board?

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Refund delays may pose problems for RV buyers

(Oct. 24, 2013) — That’s right, because a few government workers were not at their desks for 12 days, the IRS needs an extra 24 days to “allow adequate time to program and test tax processing systems,” according to an agency statement. What does that mean for the RV industry? Dealers know that many RV buyers rely upon their refunds to provide cash for down payments on RV purchases. With refunds delayed, so will RV purchases.

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What to banks know that we don’t know?

(Oct. 21, 2013) — So, what do banks know that we don’t know? The RV industry has routinely lead the nation into recession, and during the last recession, banks got caught up big time in defaults and dealer repossessions. I’m not saying there are any storm clouds on the horizon, but it may be prudent to keep an eye on what the big banks are doing to small business customers and, especially, the RV industry.

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A holiday of uncertainty

(Oct. 18, 2013) — There is a lot to be worried about this holiday season, but it’s not all doom and gloom for the RV industry. Many Americans are looking at Christmas and opting not to play the shopping game where they battle endless rude crowds to buy trinkets nobody really needs. Rather, they are investing money in experiences and memory-making opportunities for their families. 

Marketing RVing as a way for families to bond together and enjoy new experiences 12 weekends a year for what they would spend on the latest toys and electronic gadgets may be a home run for dealers and campgrounds.

Selling the sizzle will be as simple as promoting RVing as a way to respite, relax and escape the mind-numbing problems of the world.

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Membership in state association is not an “expense”

(Oct. 17, 2013) — Our association, like many other state associations, was able to assist this park only because we have made years of investment in Sacramento. It takes time to develop working relationships with these groups. It takes constant monitoring of local and state regulations to watch for changes and tweaks that can impact a member’s bottom line. It takes lobbyists sorting through piles of proposed legislation. It requires us to build coalitions to fight for common causes.

An individual RV park or campground could never afford to have a staff person available all year long simply to manage to manage industry relationships, answer regulatory questions, recommend resources and follow trends and develop responsive best practices. 

But, collectively, through membership in state associations, any campground can have immediate access to this valuable resource.  

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Federal shakedown succeeds in opening national parks

I read the news on Friday that several states had agreed to forward money to the federal government to keep the national parks in their states open for seven to 10 days. Then, I saw the amount of money states were required to pay and it became clear the kindergarteners that have been in charge of national parks since the “shutdown” have been replaced by mafia thugs.

The State of Arizona is going to pay $651,000 to keep Grand Canyon open for seven days. That’s $93,000 per day — or $33,945,000 per year — to keep a visitor’s center, gift shop, a few shuttle buses and a bunch of unpaved hiking trails open. That’s staggering!

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Hamm: Canadian RV industry strong, healthy

(Oct. 11, 2013) — This past year, the RVDA of Canada engaged Harris Decima to conduct a groundbreaking study, showcasing the economic impact of the Canadian RV industry.  I was really surprised when I read that the total economic activity associated with the Canadian recreation vehicle industry reached $14.5 billion. That is an incredible figure folks.

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Is any employer saving money on health insurance?

(Oct. 11, 2013) — The Affordable Health Care Act has been open and registering dozens of people around the country for almost two weeks. But, I’d like to know if RV-related businesses are seeing any cost savings in their health care premiums this year.

I have been hearing horror stories from business owners and consumers alike about how health insurance premiums have skyrocketed this summer. I am hoping that one of my readers will have a success story and being willing to share it with the rest of the industry.

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