RVDA NewsBrief
Nov. 14, 2012

RVDA webinar will guide dealers through health care, benefits changes
RV Learning Center
RVDA has planned a webinar to help dealers navigate the impending changes predicted for health care and employee benefits. It will take place at noon EST Dec. 13. KPA, an associate member, is hosting the webinar and handling registration on its site (kpaonline.com).More

Gas prices finally as 'cheap' as a year ago
For much of 2012, drivers have been paying 10 cents, sometimes 25 cents more per gallon than the same time in 2011 — which was the priciest year ever for gasoline. At long last, when drivers pull into gas stations this week, they can take some comfort in the fact that they're not paying more than they were at this time last year. According to AAA's Fuel Gauge Report, as of Nov. 12, we've finally reached the point where the national average is the same as it was a year ago: $3.43.More

Thor Industries surges as revenue increases 30 percent
Thor Industries Inc. said its sales surged 30 percent to a fiscal first-quarter record. The Jackson Center, Ohio-based company's stock had risen 46 percent this year. Sales for the quarter ended Oct. 31 rose to $876.8 million, Thor said. Its order backlog at the end of October was $720.4 million, up 41 percent from a year earlier. Sales of recreational vehicles are monitored as a sign of an improving economy, because motorhomes and travel trailers are discretionary purchases that consumers defer during a slump.More

RVDA to honor manufacturers with award for dealer satisfaction
RVDA will honor RV brands built by 13 manufacturers with its Quality Circle Award on Nov. 26 in Louisville, KY, just prior to the opening of the National RV Trade Show. These brands/manufacturers rated highly in overall dealer satisfaction in the association's 19th annual Dealer Satisfaction Index survey. An RVDA membership reception follows the event, which begins at 5 p.m. at the Crown Plaza Hotel. More

Winnebago to start building buses
Journal Star
The company famous for motorhomes is going into the bus business. Winnebago Industries Inc. is preparing to produce Metro Link, a new transit bus that the manufacturer says will use some of its motorhome technology in a shuttle-type bus. Randy Potts, Winnebago's chairman, CEO, and president, says it's part of Winnebago's effort to diversify its business to avert a repeat of the 2008 downturn that caused the company to close one factory and shrink its workforce from a peak of 4,220 in August 2004 to 1,694 five years later.More

RV World appealing to long-term customers with launch of new blog, photo contest
RV World is hoping to make a connection with RV lovers by launching a brand new blog. Discussion topics will include experts' tips for new RV owners, news on upcoming RV shows and special events and general maintenance advice and information about living the RV lifestyle.More

RVers' lots at Baltimore Ravens tailgate parties have the most energetic fans
Whether you're seeking a replacement tailgating crowd or are just brand new to the Baltimore Ravens party scene, rest assured that there are plenty of lively lots to choose from. If you're seeking the most intense tailgating experience, look no further than Lots H and G, which have gained reputations for hosting the wildest parties. Perhaps not coincidentally, these two lots also allow RV and camper parking, which means fan vans galore. These hot lots have been designated as the ultimate grilling destination. More

Company expansions could add RV jobs in Elkhart, Middlebury, IN
The Elkhart Truth
Two companies may add as many as 281 jobs in Elkhart and Middlebury, IN, over the next seven years. Fortress Technologies and Vista Manufacturing agreed to stay in Elkhart County for the next 11 years if they get final approval for a tax phase-in. Fortress is a startup RV frame manufacturer, and Vista produces LED lighting products for RVs.More

RVers find family history at POW Museum
The Americus Times-Recorder
Pat and Diana Curry had been enjoying a nomadic RV lifestyle since retiring six years ago, selling their house and taking to the road. As National Park Service volunteers, they traveled from park to park, helping out. Little did they know when they were stationed at Andersonville National Historic Site that its Prisoner of War Museum would reveal rare images of Pat's father and details of his imprisonment in North Korea from 1950-1953.More

Is your gear ready for winter?
The Topeka Capital-Journal
Most campers store their units for the winter. A little preplanned maintenance now will save time and possibly money next spring when it's time to head to your favorite camp site. Winterization is easy to do on most campers, and it doesn't take more than a couple of hours to do the job.More

Why everyone wants to work for the 'good guys'
Experts agree: Employees want to work for the good guys. And if companies want to attract and keep top talent, corporate social responsibility matters. "For today's 'millennials' entering the workforce, engagement in sustainability is a must-have, not a nice-to-have," says Kellie McElhaney, director at the Center for Responsible Business, Haas School of Business, University of Berkeley. At Discovery Communications, employees "don't want to be told what the company is doing, they want to do it," says an official. "Eighty percent of our employees volunteer, and if we ever stopped it, they would revolt."More

How to market your business on a limited budget
Business 2 Community
A small business can market its products and services on a very minimal or nonexistent budget, thanks to the Internet. One way is to present itself as an industry expert by posting video tutorials and how-to articles on the product or service offered. Another way to stretch a small marketing budget is to use ad space wisely — while it may seem counterintuitive, larger, more visible ads are not always the most effective choice.More