July '18

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rv-pro.com July 2018 • RV PRO • 147 "We've been fortunate to have solid, consistent funding from the industry to enable the Go RVing staff and our agency to work on some of the cut- ting-edge media exposure that's out there right now," he says. Ingrassia cites a few reasons for the success of the Go RVing campaign and, more broadly, the coalition. For one thing, dealers have learned to listen to – and not prejudge – the needs of prospective buyers who come to their lots, he says. That way, dealers can sell the right RV for a customer's lifestyle, rather than pushing a unit that's not appropriate. "You've got to embrace all of the diver- sity of use for RVs. While we understand that family camping is still No. 1, there are other uses for RVs," Ingrassia says. "What we're finding is that if you have the right message at the right time, just about anybody can be an RVer. There isn't a typical RVer anymore." At the coalition level, it's evident that the leaders of the various segments of the RV industry aren't battling for supremacy, he says. As such, Go RVing works to make sure all segments of the RV industry get fair treatment and gain exposure, according to Ingrassia. "Everybody understands that we're trying to elevate the entire industry. You do not get segments of the industry pushing at each other or something like that," he says. "It's been very collegial and very consensus-driven from the begin- ning, and, frankly, it has to be." So, Go RVing comprises collegial industry representatives who are com- mitted to the campaign's mission. But, is that mission paying off? Ingrassia says it's not possible to draw an apples-to-apples correlation between Go RVing and the industry's perfor- mance, but says there are signs that the campaign is doing its job. First and foremost, RV shipments for 2017 totaled 504,599 units – up 17.2 percent compared with 2016, according to RVIA. It was the eighth straight year of growth in wholesale shipments in the post-Great Recession period. More telling is that the purchase rate for new One of the biggest changes in the Go RVing campaign in recent years has been the increased focus on hosting "experiential" events, which involves bringing motorhomes and towables to music festivals (like the Lake Shake Music Festival below) and the Go Pro Mountain Games to raise the industry's awareness with consumers who might not currently be RVers but who are good candidates to adopt the lifestyle.

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