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Go RVing and RVIA Fighting Tough Economic Forces

Go RVing and RVIA public relations – the industry’s combined marketing communications machine – are working together to combat the negative economic forces weighing on the industry.

In response to high gas prices and media hype about an emerging “staycations” trend keeping Americans home this summer, Go RVing and PR are promoting the affordability and long-term value of RV travel and ownership.

RVIA’s public relations team has been successfully demonstrating to the nation’s media that RVs are the most cost-effective way for a family to vacation, even when fuel prices go up. This was the major finding of the vacation cost comparison study conducted by PKF Consulting for RVIA earlier this year.  A national sample of approximately 500 RV owners concurred in the association’s latest Campfire Canvass survey on summer RV travel; more than 80 percent said they save by vacationing in an RV.

“Our message to the media and the public is that economical RV camping vacations have become even more popular this summer, with campground reservations up 23% year to date, and rentals expected to end the year 18% higher than last,” said RVIA Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Gary LaBella.  “RV camping is the ideal family vacation choice in these times, and it’s a great time to buy or rent an RV for years of travel savings and enjoyment.”

The news media has responded well to the counterintuitive story that RV vacations are still a bargain despite high fuel prices.  A Los Angeles area newspaper ran a story headlined: “RVs seen as a vacation cost-cutter.”  “Soaring fuel prices don’t have to keep you at home this summer when you can take your home with you,” said the Kansas City Star.

Similar themes ran through articles in newspapers around the country, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Arizona.  The story also appeared on the FOX Business website.

Meanwhile, Go RVing is communicating directly to consumers that RV vacations are the most economical, and that now is a great time to buy.  The home page of GoRVing.com features expanded information about the economics of RVing, under the new tag line, “Go Affordably. Go RVing.”   Through June, over 1.5 million people had visited the site this year.

Go RVing’s new travel blog, which is attracting more visitors than any web page other than the home page and free video order form, recently included a personal accounting of author Brad Herzog’s savings on travel with his family this summer.  One consumer responded, “Might I add: You save money by not cooling an entire house, all the appliances in an RV are designed for energy efficiency, the average American uses 100 gallons per day of water - our 175 gal tank lasted the two of us a week!” 

Herzog is making these points forcefully in TV and newspaper interviews nationwide on his current RVIA spokesperson tour.

Dealers and campgrounds are being given new ammunition to tie into RVIA and Go RVing’s value campaign in the form of new headlines being posted on the local “ad builder” for Go RVing tie-in program participants.  "Spend The Time Of Your Life, Not Your Life Savings," says one headline. Another advises, "Withdraw From Civilization, Not Your Savings Account." The online image library for local advertising and marketing use is also being updated to emphasize smaller, fuel-efficient product types.

Visit the Newsroom at www.rvia.org and click on "News" to find a fact sheet on fuel prices and RV travel.

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