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RVIA's Bontrager: State of the Association is Strong

In remarks at RVIA’s Annual Membership Meeting on March 11 in Sarasota, FL, RVIA Chairman of the Board Derald Bontrager told members that the association is as strong as it has ever been.

“The RV market is vibrantly healthy and growing; we are in excellent fiscal shape; we have a first-rate professional association staff representing us; and, most importantly, we have active, engaged members who volunteer their time and expertise to serve on the Board and committees working to guide the association,” said Bontrager.

He also noted that RVIA works across a wide range of areas in representing the interests of members as well as the RV industry in general and shared a video reporting on key achievements in 2014.

Bontrager specifically focused on RVIA’s work to address the U.S Housing and Urban Development Agency’s (HUD) memorandum in October that changed the way park model RVs were measured and the expansion of the Technician in Training (TNT) program as examples of how the association works across industry lines for the benefit of all.

“When the park model segment of our industry came under fire with the HUD decision, RVIA rallied and worked with our dealer and campground partners from across the nation to address the issue,” Bontrager said. “The unified approach spurred action and results with HUD backing off the new measurement process and preparing regulations that will define RVs by NFPA 1192 and ANSI 119.5 standards to which they are built. This will hopefully fix the HUD definition of RVs once and for all.”

The TNT pilot program was launched last year to increase the awareness of and participation in the industry’s technician training and certification programs. The effort put “boots on the ground” with field reps calling directly on dealerships in the Pacific Northwest, Texas and Louisiana. One hundred and eighty RV dealerships were visited with 608 RV technicians participating in 47 training events.

Based on that success, RVIA is joining with RV manufacturers, suppliers and dealers to fund the implementation of the program nationally over the next three years. “This program illustrates what can be accomplished when we all cooperate and are pulling in the same direction,” added Bontrager.

“Our association’s and industry’s greatest strength is unity.  It is an incredible asset that we are able to work collectively on issues to achieve success in protecting and growing the RV market,” Bontrager concluded. 

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