The responses below are from two RV industry leaders in response to RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury’s editorial in issue 752 of the RV Travel Newsletter.
From Paul Bambei, President of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC)
There’s no doubt campgrounds are filling fast across the US due to the enormous popularity of camping in the great outdoors and to find the ones that match up to a travelers specific amenity wish-list can be a difficult process. ARVC, the trade association that represents over 3000 mostly-private member parks, recommends using our exclusive consumer website www.gocampingamerica.com to make life a little easier. It’s a proprietary website that includes only ARVC member park profiles, the cream of the crop in this country IMHO, that lets visitors search by location and the amenities they’re looking for, allowing them to hone in on exactly the kind of park that suits them best. Give it a try!
From Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA
Thanks for your note, we appreciate all you do to provide RVers with the latest news, information and travel advice. The issue of product quality and customer service is top of mind in the RV industry, and there is significant attention and investment being given to these important areas. As in every industry, quality is both a competitive issue and a subjective one – it differs by customer and it differs by producer – but no industry can afford to understate its importance.
The RV industry is especially interested in keeping up with consumer sentiment on the areas of product satisfaction and experience. We recently commissioned the “Go RVing Communications Planning Study” with Nielsen, the largest consumer perception research we’ve conducted in over 10 years. We queried more than 2,500 current and prospective RVers with specific questions related to these subjects. While we plan to release the findings in the coming months, I would like to share some top-line data.
When current RVers were asked to rate their overall experience with their RVs, 88% responded good, very good, or excellent, with 10% saying fair and 2% responding poor. Additionally, when asked to rate how their actual experience of owning their current RV compared with what they expected when they acquired the vehicle, 33% said their actual experience exceeded expectations, 61% said it met them, and only 6% said their expectations were not met.
While these numbers are positive, we know the industry faces some issues on quality and customer service, and that is why everyone across the board – manufacturers, suppliers, dealers and campgrounds – is working hard to create the best consumer experience possible. Together, our mission is to build value for the customer, and to constantly better our efforts in order to ensure that future generations continue to pursue and enjoy the RV lifestyle.
Thank you for the opportunity to weigh in on these key topics.