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"RV Friendly" Release

Primary Contact:
Matt Wald
Director of Government Affairs
(703) 620-6003 ext. 313

RESTON, Va. — The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently granted interim approval for states to display the "RV Friendly" logo on the nation's gas/food/lodging highway exit signs. This approval clears the way for states to allow retailers to affix the RV Friendly logo to their own logos on highway exit gas/food/lodging signs.

The RV Friendly logo—a bright yellow circle with the letters RV—alerts recreation vehicle (RV) motorists of facilities adjacent to highways that cater to the special needs of RVs at specific highway exits. When RV Friendly logos are included on the logos of qualified establishments, motorists know that those businesses will provide parking facilities that accommodate RVs.

Motorists driving or towing RVs can have difficulty identifying and locating restaurants, gas stations and tourist attractions that have parking spaces and other amenities large enough to easily maneuver their vehicles. As a result, RV motorists may bypass destinations and businesses where they could have been well accommodated.

"This problem can be alleviated with RV Friendly signage that alerts motorists to establishments catering to the needs of RVs," said Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President Richard Coon. "When the RV symbol is attached to the highway exit sign logo of qualified facilities, RV motorists can be confident that those businesses will provide an easily accessible destination," Coon added.

Under the FHWA rule, if state or local agencies elect to participate in the RV Friendly highway sign program, they must have a policy for selecting eligible businesses and facilities. Among these criteria are high canopies, pull-throughs and an adequate turning radius.

FHWA's rule follows RVIA's successful Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, held June 8, 2005, during which member-company representatives encouraged Congress to ask FHWA to enact the new interim rule. Thanks to RVIA member participation, language was added to the recently passed federal Highway Bill lauding FHWA's work on this issue and recommending adoption of the new RV Friendly rule.

Six states—Oregon, Louisiana, Washington, Texas, Michigan and Tennessee—are already using or preparing to use the RV Friendly symbol on highway signs. RVIA's goal is 50-state implementation of the symbol.

RV ownership has reached record levels in the United States with an estimated 30 million RV enthusiasts. On America's roads today are 8.2 million RVs, which include motorhomes, travel trailers, folding camping trailers, truck campers and sport utility RVs. That's nearly one RV in every 12 vehicle-owning households in the United States, according to a 2005 University of Michigan study.

RV travelers spend substantial amounts of money on food, clothing, souvenirs and entertainment in the communities that surround their campgrounds. A 2004 Woodall's/ARVC RV Park and Campground Survey estimated that more than $3.8 billion was spent by RVers and campers in local communities as they visited the nation's commercial RV parks and campgrounds from Memorial Day to Labor Day. RV owners use their vehicles an average 26.3 days annually, according to the University of Michigan Study. More than two-thirds of RVers take spur-of-the-moment trips year round, using their vehicles to support a wide range of recreational activities and interests, from camping, fishing, hiking, biking and boating to antiquing, horse shows, tailgating at sports events and outlet mall shopping.

Today's typical RV owner is 49 years old, married, with an annual household income of $68,000—higher than the median for all households, the same University of Michigan study found.

"Families want to reconnect with America's great outdoors and spend quality time together on vacation," explains Humphreys. "RVing offers the best possible way—providing the ultimate in freedom, flexibility and control. America's highways and byways are rich in natural settings, breathtaking views and scenic spots ideal for RVing."

For more information about the RV Friendly initiative, contact Matt Wald, RVIA Director of Government affairs at (703) 620-6003 x. 313 or mwald@rvia.org.

RVIA (rvia.org) is the national association representing more than 550 manufacturers and component suppliers producing approximately 98 percent of all RVs made in the United States.

Related Files
RV-Friendly Road Signs Document (Microsoft Word Document)

Category: RVIA

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