RV Ownership Hits Record 8.9M

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) latest RV Consumer Demographic Profile, scheduled to be released to the industry this fall, shows RV ownership has reached a new peak while also offering promising news on future RV purchase intentions.

The research, conducted by Richard Curtin, RV industry analyst and director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan, reveals the number of RV-owning households has grown to a new peak of 8.9 million households, up from 7.9 million in 2005. Nearly one-in-nine (8.5%) U.S. households now own RVs, up from 8.0% in 2005, according to an RVIA news release.

“Today’s record RV ownership levels reflect the enduring appeal of the RV lifestyle despite recent economic challenges,” said RVIA President Richard Coon.

In addition to showing that RV ownership rates have climbed steadily, the new RV Consumer Demographic Profile also offers promising news on future RV purchase intentions.

When RV purchase intentions are combined across current owners, former owners and new market entrants, a total of 21% of all U.S. households stated intentions to purchase an RV in the 2011 survey. This is on par with the 23% rate in 2005 and ahead of the 16% rate in 2001.

“These purchase intentions expressed in the new RV Consumer Demographic Profile are very encouraging for the industry,” added Coon. “The survey results gathered this year in a challenging financial environment track closely with the 2005 data when the economy and consumer outlook was much brighter. Overall, the results clearly indicate continued strong demand for RVs in the years ahead.”

Credit: rvia.org

Seventy percent of current RV owners plan to purchase another RV to replace their current unit. When compared to the purchase intentions of current owners in prior surveys, the 2011 data indicates a strong increase in new vehicle purchase intentions.

Among new market entrants, defined as households that have never owned an RV in the past, 14% planned on purchasing an RV in the future with more than a third of them intending to purchase a new RV.

Of all former owners, 27% plan to purchase another RV in the future. Here, age was a determining factor with younger former owners (age 18-34) more likely than older former owners to purchase another RV. This underscores the need for the RV industry to stay in touch with recent former owners and to continue to present them ownership options.


Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA)

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is the national trade association representing recreation vehicle (RV) manufacturers and their component parts suppliers who together build more than 98 percent of all RVs produced in the U.S.

Headquartered in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Reston, Virginia, RVIA is a unifying force for safety and professionalism within the RV industry and works with both federal and state government agencies to protect the interests of its members.

Credit: rvtravel.com

A clearinghouse of industry facts and information, RVIA also provides free materials to consumers and other publics about RV travel and camping and actively works with the media nationwide to educate the public about the benefits of RVing.

Address: 1896 Preston White Drive, Reston, VA 20191

Phone: (703) 620-6003

Website: rvia.org

Worth Pondering…

There is a ripening of the season as fruit trees grow heavy with red apples; leaves turn golden to reveal a harvest of pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, and peppers in the field; and grape vines hang heavy with clusters of newly turned black and golden grapes.

Enjoy your days and love your life, because life is a journey to be savored.

Grab the keys and let’s go RVing.

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NPS Status Recommended for Valles Caldera

Valles Caldera National Preserve is an ecologically rich 89,000-acre swath of land in northwest New Mexico, one with a long human history and with a spectacular history of volcanism. And it’s an area that National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) officials believe would best be served as a unit of the National Park System, reports National Parks Traveler.

Credit: vallescaldera.gov

“The Valles Caldera National Preserve is an incredible cross-section of human history and impressive geological features, and, as a new economic report on the site states, with proper management by the National Park Service (NPS) it can be preserved for future generations while also providing an economic boon to local communities and New Mexico,” said David Nimkin, the NCPA’s Southwest Region director, on Monday (October 24) when the organization released a report on the preserve and how best to manage it.

Conducted by The Harbinger Consulting Group for Caldera Action and the NPCA, the report states that such action would support 202 local jobs, nearly $8 million in wages, and $11 million in economic activity by 2016. It reinforces a legislative push in the U.S. Senate to transfer management of the Valles Caldera to the Park Service, reports Bizjournals.com. The study’s conclusions were backed by the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Audubon New Mexico, and the Sierra Club’s Pajarito Group and Rio Grande Chapter.

Currently, the National Preserve which was created in 2000 is managed by the Valles Caldera Trust. The structure was an experiment in semiprivate public land management, and the Trust was charged with making the preserve self-sufficient. But the report states the experiment has not succeeded and is unlikely to do so.

“The report from Caldera Action gives a detailed analysis in comparing the current private-public management of the site, which has failed to become sustainable, with multiple other scenarios,” said Nimkin. “And, unsurprisingly to those of us who treasure historic and natural sites, the report determines that the background, expertise, and workforce of the NPS is best suited for both preserving the site and using it as an anchor of local economic growth.”

Valles Caldera Preserve with fog in the valley. (Credit: vallescaldera.gov)

The Valles Caldera is a huge, dormant field of volcanoes that erupted between 1 million and 20 million years ago. The volcanism sculpted a magnificent and well-preserved complex of landscape features. The Pajarito Plateau (where the National Park Service’s Bandelier National Monument lies just east of the Valles Caldera) reveals orange and pink volcanic cliffs, rich with archeological sites. Many of the high Jemez Mountains formed by massive volcanic ash-spewing eruptions are contained within the Valles Caldera National Preserve and excite geologists, many of whom have called for the preserve to be declared a World Heritage Site.

This report finds that NPS management would provide more stable long-term local economic benefits, more reliable resource protection, and superior visitor experiences. Further, the report concludes that National Park Service management would better fulfill the primary purposes of the Preserve: protecting and preserving the resources of the historic Baca ranch, and providing opportunities for public recreation.

“In addition to preventing incompatible uses from marring Valles Caldera’s incredible landscapes, the report shows that NPS management will make it more accessible to visitors and give a major boost to the local and New Mexico economy, including increasing economic benefits by more than $110 million in the first 15 years,” Nimkin noted. “The report also points out that NPS management will also be able to eliminate current administrative inefficiencies by consolidating the management of Valles Caldera National Preserve and the adjacent Bandelier National Monument.”

Kevin Holsapple, executive director of the Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corp., said the Valles Caldera and Bandelier are important economic drivers of tourism for Los Alamos.

“We’ve always had an intuitive belief that the Park Service is the way to go to promote the maximum opportunities for that (economic development),” he said. “I’m glad to see that firmed up in a study that looked objectively at those issues.”

Advocates of NPS management said the Park Service brings a recognized name and infrastructure that tends to bring more visitors to sites. Michele Archie with Harbinger said her firm looked at the impact of National Park Service management on an area of the Texas Gulf Coast and found that in the first 10 years of operation under NPS, the number of visitors increased by 500 percent.


Valles Caldera National Preserve

The Sierra de Toledo on the northeastern rim of the Valles Caldera is seen from Valle San Antonio. (Credit: vallescalderarim.blogspot.com)

The Valles Caldera Trust was created by the Valles Caldera Preservation Act of 2000 to preserve and protect the historic Baca Ranch of New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains. The groundbreaking legislation that provided for the federal purchase of this 89,000-acre ranch nestled inside a volcanic caldera also created a unique experiment in public land management.

Website: vallescaldera.gov

National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA)

The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is the only independent, membership organization devoted exclusively to advocacy on behalf of the National Parks System. Its mission is “to protect and enhance America’s National Park System for present and future generations.”

Website: npca.org

Worth Pondering…

If you ever go to New Mexico, it will itch you for the rest of your life.

—Georgia O’Keeffe

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