RVAA Headlines: Archives


What’s New at This Year’s Conference in Chicago?

The format and agenda at this year’s conference is very close to those in the past. But, there are a few tweaks this year that you will find interesting.


What To Do While You're In Chicago!

The 2012 Executive Conference is just around the corner, and we can’t wait to welcome you to Chicago! We are delighted to be hosting the conference at the Omni Hotel, just steps away from Michigan Avenue, and truly in the heart of the Magnificent Mile.


Welcome from the President - The Times, They Are a Changin’

What an appropriate statement for the business climate we all find ourselves in. We have seen changes in customers, customer behavior and buying patterns, and certainly major changes throughout the entire RV Industry. We have also seen some changes within RVAA. Change can be difficult, for sure, but it can produce positive results for those that embrace it. The very newsletter you are reading is new, and represtns change. The purpose of this monthly publication is to keep you apprised of the “goings on” within RVAA. You’ll see various messages from me, or other Executive Committee members, along with Committee updates and other relevant information in a short, quick-read format.


Webinars provide added benefit to members

RVAA members are taking advantage of a special benefit included in membership: professional development webinars. This feature gives members a chance to sign up for online product information seminars that are offered free of charge. It’s an excellent opportunity for RVAA members to provide education on their products directly to RV dealers, within the convenience of their dealership.


Torklift Webinar: Growing Profits with the Torklift International Product Line

In RVAA's latest Dealer Training Webinar (Feb. 20, 2014), Torklift International's National Sales Manager, Randy Fisher, reviewed the Torklift product line, with an emphasis on new products. He also explained the benefits of the Certified Dealer program and how it can help increase profits in your dealership. Click here to view the webinar on-demand.


Submit Your Nominations for the 2014 Jim Barker Award!

RVAA would like your help with nominations for this year's Jim Barker Award. If you know anyone who would be a good candidate for this, please click here to proceed with completing the nomination form, no later than Friday, May 2, 2014.


Submissions now open for 2017 Product of the Year

The RVAA Marketing Committee is excited to launch the Product of the Year opportunity again for 2017! 

This is a unique opportunity to showcase your product on the RVAA website and gain added recognition/exposure for your products.

The top three winners will be announced at the RVAA Executive Conference Awards Luncheon in San Diego. Entry deadline is Monday, June 26.

Submit your product >>


STEP ONE - Conference Registration is Open

Registration for RVAA's 2014 Executive Conference, taking place August 11-15, 2014 at the Loews New Orleans in New Orleans, LA is open!


Sales Best Practices: Use RVAA's Universal Price List

Information is key... Correct and complete product information is very valuable to both suppliers, distributors and to the consumer. RVAA has created a format for information to flow seamlessly between supplier and distributor.


Sales Best Practices: Get your graphics up to standards!

By following the RVAA graphics guidelines, you can help ensure products and advertisements are accurately featured to maintain a high quality standard among the RVAA industry.


RVAA’s Ongoing Relationship with the RV Industry

From the very inception of RVAA, our members have worked in conjunction with other industry associations for the betterment of the recreational vehicle industry.


RVAA: Behind the Scenes

Our RVAA Management Team is thrilled to be working on behalf of the RVAA organization! We were asked to share a snapshot of some of the “behind the scenes” events/operations that are taking place.


RVAA Strategic Plan

The RVAA Strategic Plan serves as a guide for our actions as an organization, and allows our Board and Membership with a means to measure our effectiveness in achieving our goals. In early June of 2010, the RVAA Board of Directors met in Elkhart, Indiana to review and revise the organizations Strategic Plan. While the plan has been discussed many times over the years at regular Board Meetings, this was the first meeting that was devoted exclusively to this topic.


RVAA releases first issue of RVAA E-Newsletter

RVAA's monthly e-newsletter publication will keep you apprised of the “goings on” within RVAA. You’ll see various messages from the president, or other Executive Committee members, along with Committee updates and other relevant information in a short, quick-read format.


RVAA Re-classifies Distributor Member Category

The membership of RVAA voted to change its by-laws during 2012 RVAA Executive Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The most significant part of the by-law change was the reclassification of the Distributor Member category in Article III Section 2. RVAA distributor members are now classified in one of three categories: Distributor, Retailing Distributor, and Reseller.


RVAA Proud Member: For your website/exhibit booth

We need your help spreading the word about RVAA membership! To help us do this, the RVAA Membership Committee started a new initiative/promotion last year that has gained great momentum. We would like to continue on this course by asking you to show your RVAA Proud Member display card prominently at your booth at all trade shows where you exhibit. We have also developed a "2013 Proud Member" logo that you are welcome to add to your business website!


RVAA Product of the Year

Time is running out! We do not want you to miss showing everyone "WHAT YA GOT" again! Back by popular demand, 2013 Product of the Year is your opportunity to show off your new products. For the cost of $100.00 (per entry), you will receive an entire year of exposure on the RVAA website under the new products section. Your product will also be displayed at the August RVAA Executive Conference together with the opportunity to win Product of the Year!


RVAA Names New Executive Director

RVAA is pleased to announce Jon Krueger as the new Executive Director. Mr. Krueger will be responsible for developing and driving RVAA’s strategic growth and representing the organization before affiliated professional organizations and other third parties.


RVAA Membership Votes to Have RVIA Represent the RV Aftermarket

Following an announcement by both RVAA and RVIA on June 27, the Recreation Vehicle Aftermarket Association gathered at their annual RV Aftermarket Executive Conference in San Diego, CA, this week and voted to have RVIA represent the RV aftermarket moving forward. The boards of both RVIA and RVAA had already unanimously agreed that RVIA would represent RVAA and the vote of the full membership at the executive conference solidified this decision.

RVIA maintains a diverse membership that, in addition to its manufacturer members, includes over 200 RV supplier companies and nearly 80 associate members. Building an alliance between RVIA and RVAA strengthens the aftermarket's voice within the RV industry – as well as in important areas including regulatory agencies, federal and state legislators and the trade, national and local media.

RVIA President Frank Hugelmeyer reconfirmed his sentiment that aligning the two groups creates a stronger RV industry, "We are pleased that RVAA and RVIA will be uniting as one voice in the RV industry and creating a stronger, louder voice as we pursue our mission to promote and protect the RV industry and ensure a favorable business environment for all of our members. RVIA strives to be the RV industry's association and operates under a set of clearly defined core values, the first of which is: Place Members First - In Every Decision, Our Members are at the Center.”

"It's been a lot of thought provoking work coming to this point but the RVAA Board is enthusiastic about RVIA strengthening the perspective and voice of RVAA members and the opportunities that will be afforded RVAA members" says RVAA President, Susan Carpenter.

Between now and the end of the year, leaders from RVAA and RVIA will create and execute a transition plan to ensure a seamless transition of membership. Any current RVAA member in good standing will have full access to all RVIA member benefits and is eligible to run for RVIA's Board of Directors and get involved in industry committees. A new RV Aftermarket Committee will be formed and made up of the current RVAA Board of Directors.  The chairman will be current RVAA and RVIA Board member, Craig Floyd, to ensure the voice of the aftermarket and distribution segment carries the same weight within the RVIA as all other standing committees. Steve Johnson of RVAA will assume the role as co-chair. 


RVAA membership approves change to Affiliate Member Category

Through a vote by the membership, the Recreational Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA) has changed its Affiliate member category to a new category called Service member. Click here for details.


RVAA Members Rate the 2012 Conference in Chicago

The RVAA Board of Directors surveyed attendees of the 2012 Conference in Chicago. The feedback from those surveyed will help provide information to improve future conferences.


RVAA Member Benefits Survey

On behalf of the RVAA Member Benefits Committee, we have a short survey that we need your assistance in filling out. Please click on the following link and complete at your earliest convenience. We promise this will not take more than a few minutes of your time but will be a huge help to our Committee. Your voice matters to us and we thank you in advance for your great support!


RVAA Keynote Preview: Q&A with Mike Marks

Mike Marks, an expert on navigating market shifts, changing industry dynamics and seizing opportunities under those conditions, is the Keynote Speaker for our conference in Chicago this summer. We recently spoke to Mike about what Annual Conference attendees can expect from his keynote address.


RVAA Introduces Product of the Year Award

RVAA is pleased to announce that the Member Benefits Committee has created the RVAA Product of the Year Award. The award was created to allow RVAA supplier members to showcase and earn recognition for new products that have been introduced into the RV Aftermarket.


RVAA Executive Conference: Plan to Join Us in Chicago this summer!

This year, we’ll be in Chicago at the beautiful Loews Hotel on North Park Drive, August 15-19. Still the only RV conference with guaranteed face time between distributors and suppliers, our Executive Conference is expected to attract members from around the country – all looking to conduct business, catch up with friends and colleagues and learn more about everything that’s going in today’s dynamic RV industry.


RVAA Executive Conference focus of RV Pro article

RV Pro takes a look at RVAA's recent Executive Conference. According to the article, new members say the value of the conference alone is enough incentive to join RVAA. Click here to read complete article.


RVAA Conference Committee merges into Marketing Committee

The RVAA Board of Directors voted to merge the Conference Committee into the Marketing Committee at their June strategic planning meeting in Keystone, Colorado. Click here for details.


RVAA Committees – Get Involved!

The RVAA Board of Directors has set a goal to get as many RVAA members as possible to join a committee for the 2012/2013 year. Currently, only about 12% of members are actively involved on RVAA Committees. There are tremendous initiatives that have been created that will allow RVAA to continue to grow into a stronger and more effective association.


RVAA Committee Update: Membership Committee

The Membership Committee met on Dec. 12th to review our plan to meet the objectives for 2012. Membership retention, new member education and mentoring, membership recruitment, and additional committee member recruitment are at the top of the list.


RVAA Committee Update: Membership Benefits Committee

The Membership Benefits Committee met for the first time on February 13th. Because this is a brand new committee we had a lot to go over. Our priority was to review current benefits. From there we had a very busy conference call with everything we have assigned to us.


RVAA Committee Update: Member Benefits Committee

As a newly formed Member Benefits Committee our purpose is to ensure that the members of the association are receiving the most benefit. Currently, the greatest benefit we all enjoy is the Annual Executive Conference. The 2012 Executive Conference was held downtown Chicago, IL, at the beautiful Omni Hotel. The hotel was in a great location for those who wanted to get out a visit the city.


RVAA Committee Update: Marketing Committee - E-Newsletter Stats

One of the many tasks of your RVAA Marketing Committee is to produce and distribute a monthly e-newsletter via email. Since July of 2011 the committee has monitored the statistical trends within the newsletter to produce articles and information to better serve and interest our audience.


RVAA Committee Update: Education Committee

See what the new RVAA Education Committee has in store for the coming year!


RVAA Board of Directors Strikes Down Aftermarket Statistics Program

The RVAA Board of Directors had a Board of Directors meeting in June in Chicago, Illinois. A major agenda item during this meeting was to vote on an RV Aftermarket Statistics program that would allow the association to publish RV aftermarket sales data on a quarterly basis.


RVAA announces 2011-12 Board of Directors

RVAA's 2011-12 Board of Directors was announced during the Executive Conference in September. Click here for new Board.


RVAA 3-Minute Survey Results - November 2016

New data suggests it's been a strong year for the RV aftermarket and feelings are generally positive for 2017, according to an RVAA member survey conducted last month.


RV AfterMarket Education and Certification Can Improve Everyone’s Bottom Line

The National RV Dealers association has enjoyed a strong relationship with RVAA and there is a true attitude of cooperation between the two organizations. One of the most important examples of this cooperation is in the area of AfterMarket continuing education for RV retailers.


Remembering Those We've Lost This Year

The Member Benefits Committee paid homage with a scrolling "In Memoriam" display at our 2014 RVAA Executive Conference in New Orleans. We would like to thank our Member Benefits Committee member John Hawkins for making this all come together. On behalf of our RVAA Board of Directors, RVAA Committee members and all of our fellow RVAA members, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to all of the family members, friends and RV colleagues on the loss of your loved one.


Recreational Vehicle Aftermarket Association selects new management company

RVAA is pleased to announce and introduce Landon, Farrey & Associates (LF&A) as its new association management company.  Residing in Naperville, IL, LF&A brings a wealth of knowledge and association management experience to RVAA. Click here for details.


Product of the Year: Nominations now being accepted

RVAA is accepting applications for its Product of the Year Award. RVAA Supplier Member participants can log into the RVAA homepage with their own ID to view and update product submissions.


Product of the Year Winners Announced

Product of the Year winners were announced at the RVAA Executive Conference in Chicago. The first place winner was KING RV with the product RV Media Bluetooth Weatherproof Speaker & Awning Light. This weatherproof speaker streams music directly to the campsite.


Product Merchandising – Less is More

You’ve heard it a million times: “simple solutions trump complex every time”. Nowhere is this more valid than on the retail floor. It is assumed that RV dealerships are busy places with erratic, seasonal demand. While store personnel really try to help customers, they simply can’t be with every customer every time.


Perspective, Unity Needed for These Trying Times

As we near the end of this year, the RV industry continues to determinedly hold its ground in the face of the uncertain, volatile economic environment hampering business both nationally and globally.


Older Entries

For the RVAA News Archive of older entries, please click the link above.


Nominations open for the Jim Barker Award

We are currently accepting nominations for the 2017
Jim Barker Award. 

This highly coveted award is RVAA's highest honor, given to those who truly exemplify service in the RV aftermarket industry.

Jim Barker originally developed the concept for RVAA in the late 1960s. The first award was given to Jack Budrow, founder of Burr Manufacturing and longtime president of Barker Manufacturing, in 1972. RV/MH Hall of Fame President and Founder of Ultra-Fab Products Darryl Searer received the award last year.

In order to be nominated, recipients must have several years of service on behalf of RVAA, spearheaded projects and programs to better the industry, served on committees and have a dedication to improve the industry that is obvious to their colleagues and contemporaries. Nominations for consideration must be submitted by Thursday, June 1.

To nominate someone for this award, click here to fill out a submission form


Nominations open for Jim Barker Award

RVAA is currently accepting nominations for the 2016 Jim Barker Award. This highly coveted award is RVAA’s highest honor, given to those who truly exemplify service in the RV aftermarket industry.


Nominating Committee Presents Board of Directors Proposed Slate at Executive Conference

John Spaulding, RVAA Nominating Chair, presented the new Board of Directors Slate for RVAA general membership to participate in voting during the Wednesday, August 19 Business Luncheon in Vancouver last week. The new Executive Board Committee, in addition to the open board seat candidates, were presented. The slate was approved unanimously by the RVAA membership in attendance at the Business Luncheon on the 19th.


New Board Positions Elected

RVAA is pleased to announce three members were elected, and one re-elected, to the Board of Directors for 2016-2017. RVAA announced the election results during the Business Luncheon portion of the Executive Conference in Chicago.


Message from the President: RVAA Board Plans for the Future

Welcome back from what was hopefully a relaxing holiday week for many of you! Before we all took some much-deserved time off for the 4th of July, our industry made some major news again, this time with the announcement of the Thor buyout of Jayco. I’ve been saying it a lot lately: it’s an interesting time to be in the RV business. Consolidation continues on many fronts, but it means new opportunities are out there too. New players are stepping into the game, including more than a dozen new RVAA members since January! In fact, our membership totals for Distributors and Suppliers are trending to hold the line compared to last year. So don’t worry – your meeting schedule for the RVAA Executive Conference in Chicago will be as busy as ever!


Message from the President: Getting Ready for San Diego!

Spring has finally sprung! I can't think of a better way to celebrate the season than by continuing to build momentum for the RVAA Executive Conference in San Diego this August.

Registration has been open for only a few days and so far, we have over 20 companies already signed up. I'm excited to see how that number grows in the weeks to come. We're expecting another big turnout this summer. Our host property, the Rancho Bernardo Inn, is a beautiful spot ideal for taking care of business, unwinding with friends and having a little fun too! 

Don't forget: Conference registration closes on Friday, June 9, so it is important to register early. (See below for more details about the Conference.)

Business is booming in the RV industry these days, including the aftermarket. It's great to see that 80% of respondents to our recent survey say their aftermarket net income has grown over the past year (see article below for more details). With so much going on in our space, you'll don't want to miss the Executive Conference.

If anyone has questions, please reach out to RVAA Headquarters for assistance.

Spring Regards!

Susan Carpenter
RVAA President


MAT Survey Update

What a great market we live in! We get to serve the 9 million dedicated RV'ers that crisscross our country every day. And this strong organization, RVAA, works relentlessly to make it better for all of us. One area we can improve on is access to relevant market information. That's where the MAT initiative comes in. Long story short it's about pooling information in a safe, confidential manner...so as an industry, and individuals, we can use this data to help us grow.


MAT Recap: A New Direction

In today’s business world, it’s about “knowing”. The world moves on information. So last year we embarked on a journey to bridge the gap. The MAT initiative was developed to survey and record important data and statistics for the use of membership. A series of surveys were filled out and recorded (confidentially). We were on our way to building a nice foundation of industry data for membership benefit. But there was a problem: lack of participation. Most members are privately held businesses. Confidential data is a tough thing to let go of. That said, the need still exists. So...we’ve listened to the feedback and course corrected.


Making the most of your time in Huntington Beach, CA

While spending time in Huntington Beach, the array of leisure time activities is really endless! Depending on your desire to seek adventure, fun in the sun or just squeeze in some much needed R & R…Huntington Beach truly has something for everyone!


Making the most of your RVAA membership

Being a member of RVAA provides your company with opportunities to effectively meet and build relationships with key decision-makers within the industry. There are many benefits to being a member, such as serving on a committee or RVAA’s board of directors, to meeting with nearly 100 of the top suppliers and distributors in the industry in one location at our annual three-day RVAA Executive Conference. This prominent event allows suppliers, distributors, agents and service businesses in the RV industry to meet and develop strategies for expanding their business in the coming year.


Making the Most of the RVAA Executive Conference - Part 1

Time, money and opportunity – three resources everybody could use more of – especially busy executives encompassing the RV aftermarket. The conference is designed to maximize opportunity, while saving both time and money. No other RV industry event has so much potential! That is, if you are prepared to make the most of it.


Letter from the RVAA President

Our Executive Conference - located this year at Rancho Bernardo Inn in sunny San Diego - is less than two months away!

Stay on top of all the action, trends and latest information in the RV aftermarket at the only industry event where attendees can schedule their own one-on-one business meetings, get a first look at new products before the fall/winter RV shows, gain aftermarket insight from the Dealer's Council and network and with colleagues from around the country.

For this year's keynote speaker, we have invited Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President Frank Hugelmeyer to speak about the current economic climate of the industry outside of the aftermarket. Hugelmeyer will also provide refreshing insight into the organization's new vision.

As always, the vision for this Conference is to ensure your business is better off for having attended. Our Conference Committee works hard each year to provide association value to our supplier, distributor, agent and service provider members. But never a group to rest on our laurels, we invite feedback for improvement and enhancement - and we would love to hear your thoughts and opinions!

On behalf of our entire Board of Directors and the entire RVAA team, we thank you for your valued membership and look forward to another great Executive Conference.


Susan Carpenter
RVAA President


Kings of the road? Motor homes smaller, less flashy

According to an article in USA TODAY, RVs are getting smaller and, "The era of bigger-is-better and more ostentatious is over." Click here to read.


Join us for a webinar!

In our webinar on Thursday, April 20 learn about Winegard Company's new internet connectivity product line - the Winegard ConnecT. 

Aftermarket sales manager Alex Johnson will review both the Winegard ConnecT WiFi range extender and the Winegard ConnecT WiFi Range Extender/4G combination system. Training will highlight product features and benefits to help your customers stay connected. 

Register now >>

Interested in presenting a webinar?

Take advantage of an opportunity to get in front of the RVAA audience! Click here for presenter opportunities.


John Spaulding honored with 2015 Jim Barker Award

NTP-Stag’s Marketing Director John Spaulding accepted the Jim Barker Award at the Business Awards Luncheon held during the 41st Annual Recreational Vehicle Aftermarket Association Executive Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Increasing Distributor and Dealer Sales Through Improved Merchandising

Supplier Companies have many opportunities to assist their Distributor and Dealer partners increase the sales of their products. One of the most effective ways to do this is to provide them with improved merchandising aids that can be easily implemented at the dealer level.


In Case You Missed the RVAA Webinar...

You can download a pdf version of the presentation here.


Important Update Regarding the 2015 RVAA Executive Conference

The 2015 RVAA Executive Conference will be held August 17-21 in Vancouver Canada. A valid U.S. Passport is required for U.S. Citizens to enter Canada and/or to return to the United States from Canada. Information regarding the U.S. We suggest the application process be completed as early as possible in order to avoid additional fees for expedited service, and/or Passport related travel issues or delays.



Registration deadline for the RVAA Executive Conference - taking place August 30 - September 2 - is Friday, July 15! To secure your appointments, you need to register now! For registration link and information please contact Meg Pawelski, e-mail mpawelski@rvaahq.org or Laura Hallen, e-mail lhallen@rvaahq.org.


How to Have a Meaningful Business Meeting in 20 Minutes

I’m sure we have all been in business meetings that have lasted way too long. Personally I’ve been in some that have lasted over 6 hours, and I’m sure some of you could easily beat that number. On the other end of the spectrum we have the 20 minute meetings that take place during RVAA. Although 20 minutes seems very short and 6+ hours seem very long, the real measure of any meeting is “did we get done what we needed to do”?


Host an RV Dealer Training Webinar at HALF PRICE Now Until the End of the Year

RVAA has organized supplier webinars for the RV Dealers across the country, with excellent vendor presentations and high dealer attendance. These webinars are best attended during the non-peak months from October through April so we are making a push for suppliers to sign up for a webinar during the month of October, 2014, which we are renaming, "WEBTOBER". For the remainder of this year if you book and host a webinar prior to December 31, 2014 you will receive the special discounted price of $500 to host a webinar ($1000 regular price starting in January 2015).


Highlights of the RVAA 2012 Strategic Plan

The RVAA Board of Directors attended a strategic planning meeting on June 20 in Chicago, Illinois. This strategic planning meeting is an annual event during which the Board of Directors strategizes about the long term future of RVAA.


Highlights from the 2012 Executive Conference!

RVAA 2012 Executive Conference at the Omni Hotel in Chicago in full swing. Click here to view photos!


Get the Most Out of the Executive Conference Meetings

Each individual distributor has their own unique way of making the conference a success and the formula we use at Keller has served us well over the years. We go into the meetings as if we were going into an annual employee review. In doing so, we collect specific data based on information from the previous year.


Get Involved with RVAA Committees

The RVAA Board of Directors has set a goal to get as many RVAA members as possible to join a committee for the 2011/2012 year. There are tremendous initiatives that have been created that will allow RVAA to continue to grow into a stronger and more effective association. However, to accomplish these initiatives we are going to need many more volunteers to serve on committees.


From Your New RVAA President, Aaron Engberg

I am very excited and honored to be your next President. Piar Adams set a strong foundation for me and has made it easier for RVAA to continue to improve as an association. The new Board of Directors for the upcoming term is very strong and I will make it our priority to continue to add value to your membership. Communication, member participation, and outreach programs will be a key emphasis. We will also make sure that we continue to add value to the executive conference for all segments of our organization.


From RVAA President Aaron Engberg - June 2013

The 2013 Executive Conference registration is in full force, and all of the RVAA Committees are working in high gear! Please take a moment to review the following conference checklist for your reference. Wishing everyone a safe and happy fourth of July!


From RV Pro:Tom Manning Jr. Wins RVAA’s Prestigious Jim Barker Award

Tom Manning said he was a little stunned when he heard his name called for the Jim Barker Award last week at the annual RVAA Convention in Boston.


From RV Pro: RVAA Convention Has Record-Setting Attendance, Hands Out Industry Awards

Last week’s RVAA Executive Conference saw record attendance with 255 attendees, up from 232 last year and 208 in 2011.


Executive Conference: Supplier Meetings with Distributors... Helpful Points to Consider

The RVAA supplier meetings provide an opportunity to discuss numerous topics. Although some of the same topics are covered, each meeting is different from the next. Respectively, we approach each assembly differently and plan a unique agenda depending on the supplier we are meeting with. Other distributors probably have a similar approach but here are some areas of interest that all distributors would most likely be interested in.


Executive Conference Sponsorships Now Available

Want to get in front of the key players in the recreational vehicle aftermarket? Link your company to the 2017 Executive Conference through our Benefactor Program sponsorship opportunities. This year, we are offering the exclusive Diamond Plus option,  Diamond, Platinum and Gold levels. Learn more about these great deals >>


Dealer Training Webinars expand RVAA's educational mission

RVAA's sixth Dealer Training Webinar is taking place online October 17, 2013, from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. CST. This webinar, hosted by Torklift, will focus on towing safety. Click here for details and registration. And if you missed our first highly popular sessions, visit RVAA's webinar archives to download presentation slides or to view them on video. 


Dealer Training Webinars expand RVAA's educational mission

RVAA's fifth Dealer Training Webinar is taking place online May 9, 2013, from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. CST. This webinar, hosted by Blue Ox, will focus on chassis and and suspension upgrades. Click here for details and registration. And if you missed our first highly popular sessions, visit RVAA's webinar archives to download presentation slides or to view them on video.


Dealer Training Webinar: Carefree of Colorado - E-Carefree

New exciting tools to make awning ordering, troubleshooting and selling easier than ever! Carefree has developed new exciting tools that the RV industry has never seen before. On www.e-carefree.com a dealer can now search for parts or complete replacement of awnings and canopies with a serial number or part number.


Dealer Council Announced

All of the following dealer representatives have agreed to serve on the 2017 RVAA Dealer Council during the Executive Conference in San Diego:  

  • Jeff HowellManager, All Seasons RV
  • Nick DvorakService Manager, Banning RV
  • Jeff Burger, Parts Manager, Camperland of OK 
  • Harry Vasilakis, Parts Manager, La Mesa RV 
  • Ray Schwantner, Director of Parts, Mike Thompson's RV
  • Tom Zeilstra, Parts Service Director, Pierce RV Supercenter

We look forward to hearing from each of the participants during this popular event!


Darryl Searer Honored with RVAA Jim Barker Award

Recognized for his dedication to the Association and the industry as a whole, Darryl Searer, RV/MH Hall of Fame president and founder of Ultra-Fab Products, accepted the Jim Barker Award at the RVAA Executive Conference in Chicago.


Conference Recap: Warehouse Distributor Segment Lunch

The Segment Lunches held during the RVAA Executive Conference are intended to provide an open forum for the membership groups to discuss relevant topics affecting their businesses. Over the past several years the list of topics that the Wholesale Distributor Segment focused on were best practices, aftermarket statistics and helping the aftermarket grow. With one exception, the 2011 discussions didn’t stray too far from those topics again. This year the question of whether the membership would support a market research study focused on consumer behavior as it relates specifically to the purchase of RV aftermarket products was also discussed.


Conference Recap: Supplier Segment Lunch

The RVAA supplier Segment Luncheon started with a delicious meal of chicken, ribs, corn on the cob and potatoes. Conversation quickly turned to the agenda forms found on the tables. Most suppliers were in favor of the Standard Price Sheet, however concerns were raised over whether distributors would accept the form and it was brought to our attention that the RVAA Board had not yet discussed acceptance of the revised form. All agreed that that the acceptance of the revised form would need to start with the Board.


Conference Recap: Report from RVAA Board of Directors Meeting

As is tradition, your RVAA Board of Directors held a board meeting just before the Annual Executive Conference on Monday August 29th. Like all RVAA Board meetings, we first went through the formalities of roll call, the anti-trust reminder, introductions and an agenda review. At this particular board meeting we typically don’t tackle difficult, time consuming topics, but rather focus on the Conference and financials. After reviewing the financials through the previous month and discussing the financial expectations of the Conference, we usually run through the Conference agenda one last time. We also discuss any issues that may have arisen since our arrival at the Conference property.


Conference Recap: Manufacturer’s Agent Segment Luncheon

The Manufacturer’s Agent Segment Luncheon was held on Wednesday, August 31st during the RVAA Conference in Huntington Beach, California. The luncheon was attended by twenty representatives of member Agent firms. The purpose of this event is to provide RVAA’s Agent Members an opportunity to meet as a group to discuss relevant topics affecting agents within RVAA. Three topics were discussed during the meeting portion of the luncheon.


Conference Recap: 2011 RVAA Executive Conference

Where else would you be able to conduct business with your distributor, supplier and agent associates in one venue while enjoying beautiful California? Hyatt Huntington Beach Waterfront Resort hosted their second successful RVAA Executive Conference Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, 2011. The RVAA Aftermarket Association has again provided its members with this very unique opportunity to conduct face to face business meetings with all our aftermarket partners over a three day period. The established 20 minute meeting format has proven successful and allowed our members to meet with and discuss marketing topics, catalogs, new products and strategies for a successful year to come. These meeting were scheduled over two and a half days allowing the opportunity for the suppliers and agents to meet with the distributors. Approximate attendance for this year is over 200 participants from over 100 companies.


Check Out the RVAA Career Center

Here, job seekers can search through targeted listings of available positions by location, specialty and other criteria. Employers can post job openings in our database to reach thousands of qualified job seekers.


Board Approves Agents/Supplier Code of Ethics

Late last year, the RVAA Board of Directors approved the following Code of Ethics for Agents and Suppliers within the industry. The topics include the Sales Agency's Responsibilities to the Manufacturer/Principal, the Manufacturer's/Principal's Responsibilities to the Sales Agency, the Sales Agency's Responsibilities to the Customer and the Responsibilities of One Sales Agency to Another. Click here to download the RVAA Code of Ethics >>


Announcing RVAA Universal Price List 2.0 – new and improved for 2011

This easy-to-use spreadsheet gives suppliers a convenient way to send product info, prices, price changes and even info on new to products to all distributors in the same format. For distributors it means product information from all suppliers will be in the same format. Click here for details.


Aftermarket Expansion Keys Upcoming RVAA Conference

Change is in motion for RVAA going into its Aug. 20-24 Executive Conference at the Omni Chicago Hotel. During the past year RVAA has increased its membership roll by 20 companies – a new record, topping 19 new member companies in 2011 – and boosted the number of members serving on committees by 50 percent, according to RVAA President Aaron Engberg. RV Pro magazine interviewed Engberg about RVAA initiatives in a recent article. Click here to read.


A Short History of RVAA

The idea for an aftermarket association was originally developed by Jim Barker in the late 1960’s in the form of a recommendation for his distributor customers. The notion was carried forward by the distributors of that time including Mobile Home distributors, Jim Kirchner (Diamond Mobile Home Supply), Paul Tweedy (Tweedys Mobile Home Supply), John Meredith (Central Mobile Home Supply), and RV distributors Ted Kaplan (Stag), Dick Kirkland (Kirkland Trailer Sales), and Vern Trabert (Vern Trailer Supply). In 1968, Grayson Schwepfinger (Indiana Trailer Supply) was elected as the first President. Originally, only distributors would meet annually and discuss issues of distributor concern such as what constitutes a true wholesale distributor from retailers and other hot issues of the day.


A Note from RVAA President: New Strides Forward for RVAA

RVAA is making new strides forward in early 2016. First, we are welcoming a new Executive Director to our management team (see full article in this newsletter). Jon Krueger has more than a decade of experience providing strategic leadership and day-to-day management for trade associations like RVAA. He will be based in Atlanta, GA. Please join me in welcoming Jon to the RVAA community!


A Note from RVAA President, Susan Carpenter

Holiday Greetings! Who can believe we are just a few weeks away from closing out 2015? Our hope is that this year was filled with growth, development (professionally and personally) with an added splash of fun and adventure for everyone! RVAA could not be more thankful with having each one of you on our valued member team, and thank you all!


A Note from RVAA President, Susan Carpenter

I am honored to be your new RVAA Board of Directors President! It is my pleasure to be in the company of such a dedicated Board of Directors who will be returning to RVAA as well as the new directors joining us this year! RVAA is built on a solid foundation of loyal and dedicated members, like each one of you, who have led to the successes we have had these past forty-one years! Change is inevitable for us all and RVAA is no exception. We embrace the opportunity to continue to grow and change as we proceed with our next two years.


A Note from RVAA President, Jim Stark: Updates on the 2015 Executive Conference

Our 2015 Annual RVAA Executive Conference is just over five months away! This will be our first conference held on Canadian soil and we couldn't be more thrilled. The Pinnacle Hotel in beautiful downtown Vancouver will be hosting our conference this year. The hotel reservation link opened this month and they are ready to accept your room reservations at your convenience. We encourage you to visit our website to view details on the hotel, agenda, and numerous sponsorship opportunities.


A Note from RVAA President, Jim Stark: RVAA 2015 New Year Kick Off!

Hope everyone is doing great with the 2015 show schedules in full swing! RVAA is also looking forward with great anticipation to hosting our 2015 Executive Conference in Canada this August! Our hotel registration information will be available in Mid-February and we will provide an announcement to everyone once we have everything finalized.


A Note from RVAA President, Jim Stark

Spring has finally arrived! RVAA can't think of a better way to celebrate the season than to announce our line up for our 2015 Executive Conference in Vancouver! Our first step will include opening up our Conference registration on Monday, April 13! We will email every company a registration/payment form and request you complete and remit by our deadline date of Friday, June 12.


A Note from RVAA President, Jim Stark

The Fall season has officially arrived, and brings with it the beginning of RVAA’s WEBtober Dealer Training opportunity. RVAA’s Education Committee has rolled back the price of hosting a training webinar throughout the balance 2014. As the season winds down, RV Dealer’s schedules are more flexible, and they have more time for employee training. We encourage all our members to take full advantage of our half-off pricing during RVAA’s WEBtober training promotion.


A Note from RVAA President Jim Stark - September 2013

I sincerely hope everyone enjoyed our recent RVAA Conference in Boston. Since the conclusion of your visit to historic Boston, I also hope you’ve been busy following up profitable leads generated during your meetings at the conference. While the Omni Parker House Hotel and the City of Boston provided a unique venue for our meetings, along with a window into the formative years of our country, the true value of the conference is to enable our membership to gain and/or improve profitable relationships with their Aftermarket Industry member partners.


A Note from RVAA President Aaron Engberg - May 2013

We are in full swing for the upcoming 2013 RVAA Executive Conference. Speaking of “swings”… we will continue with our tradition of offering an optional 18 hole round of golf with fellow RVAA members. If golf is not your forte, please know there will be a number of opportunities available throughout the conference to meet and network with fellow RVAA members.


A Message from Your President – Wow, What Momentum!!

The progress that has been made year to date within the RVAA community has really made me proud to be a part of this organization. Without the strong support and participation of the Board, the committee members, and all RVAA membership we wouldn’t have been able to move forward so quickly.


A Message from the President: RVAA Looks to 2017

It's been an exciting year to be in the RV business. The industry is strong and growing, and that includes the aftermarket. The majority of us (64%) saw our net earnings increase over the past year, according to the recent RVAA 3-Minute Survey.


A Message from the President: Embracing Change

Even though we often fear it, change is one of the few things guaranteed in life. Leadership guru John C. Maxwell said it best: "Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." 

Often we see the world through threat-tinted glasses, fearful of stepping into the unknown beyond comforting predictability. This fear can cause rigidity and reduce our natural ability to innovate, transform and positively adapt (qualities fundamental if we are to survive, let alone thrive, in these volatile times).  

In fact, many business gurus argue that companies and industries now face increased levels of dynamic change (change upon change upon change) due to stresses in our economies, societies and natural world leading to increased volatility. Read more >>


A Message From Outgoing President, Aaron Engberg

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day holiday weekend! I also wanted to check in and send a "farewell note" as I am now officially the "Past President" of the RVAA Board of Directors. This went into effect at the 2013 Executive Conference in Boston. Please know that I am not going far, as I will remain on the Board of Directors for the next two years serving as your "Past President" so I will still be active with RVAA.


A look to campground stores for a new distribution channel

Businesses are always looking for new distribution channels. But one place they often overlook is campground stores.


3-Minute Industry Survey: Growth Strong Over Past Year

Most RVAA members are seeing their net income grow when it comes to aftermarket sales, according to a new survey.  

  • Eight of out 10 respondents report net income/profitability from their RV aftermarket business has increased over the past 12 months. 
  • Among those respondents, 10% report substantial growth, 43% are experiencing moderate growth and 29% are seeing net income grow slightly.  
  • The majority of all respondents (75%) indicate their current inventory in relation to market conditions to be just right, with 20% stating their inventory as too low and 5% at too high.


2015 Sponsorships with Added Benefits & Opportunities

For 2015, RVAA is offering three all new levels of sponsorship opportunities. You will notice that in addition to consolidating the Diamond, Platinum, and Gold levels, we have bolstered the benefits provided compared to years past. The Executive Conference Committee has truly strived to ensure that the value of the sponsorship considerably outweighs the cost and provides year round exposure. These added benefits will afford additional opportunities for print advertising, branding, electronic advertising,and training. Therefore, this is truly more than a sponsorship, it is an investment in the growth of your business.


2014 Product of the Year Registration is Open!

This is the third year our RVAA Member Benefits Committee is coordinating this great initiative to showcase your product(s) on our website. The registration fee is $100 per entry and additional details for participation and submission are all listed on our website!


2014 Conference Segment Breakfast Q & A Review: Part 1

At the 2014 Segment breakfast, 4 questions were posed to each group. Each segment were given the same 4 questions. Each segment noted the responses from the audience and condensed for publication in the RVAA E-Newsletter. In the next four months we will take one question and provide the answers that were given for that particular question by segment.