I’m pleased to announce the digital version of the April issue is now available for your reading pleasure. Click here to begin reading the April issue of the Magazine.
My Personal Thoughts on Multiple Issues Impacting the Industry in a Major Way
This magazine hits at an especially trying time. The RV industry, much like the world at large, is adapting to changes on a daily basis, responding to the infectious nature of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Some of these changes simply demand acknowledgment. For other changes, I urge every one of you to become involved.
Get Involved, Act Now
One area where your involvement may effect change concerns campgrounds closing across the nation. With their RV parked alongside their house or stored nearby, most campers can “self-quarantine” using their RV — but that’s not an option for full-time RVers. Their RV is their home — and, increasingly, they have nowhere to go.
I’ve heard of a new alarming trend where city, county and state governments are mandating that RV parks close, forcing all campers to leave the campground. Full-timers pull out of the campground and are faced with a daunting problem, “Where do we go or park?”
On March 31, West Virginia became the latest state to place restrictions on campground use, closing privately held parks to out-of-state residents. West Virginia joins an increasing number of states issuing restrictive mandates to campgrounds to keep with state governors’ stay at home” proclamations, issued to curb personal interactions and limit the possibility of passing the virus. Some of those proclamations extend well into June.
Many state and federal campgrounds are also facing closure.
How can you help? Spend 15 minutes tracking down the phone number of your local city, county and state government offices. Call them, and let them know that campgrounds are essential. Let them know that full-time RVers can/will segregate themselves inside their “home on wheels” in the campground. They just can’t do that on the side of the road.
For companies hurt by the coronavirus—basically, all of us—yet another task should be high on your list: begin the process of applying for the small-business administration loan covered by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (C.A.R.E.S.) Act.
As part of the $2 trillion economic stimulus package signed into law on March 27, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Treasury Department will be dispersing $349 billion in funds under the Paycheck Protection Program.
Essentially, the SBA guarantees the loan in order to help companies keep their workforce intact. It also provides payment deferral for six months. Of greater impact, it will forgive repayment of the first eight weeks of the loan, if the money is used to pay employee salaries and other business costs including rent/mortgage interest, utilities and the like.
I can’t emphasize how critical this loan can be to keeping company doors open during the pandemic. Visit www.sba.gov/Coronavirus for more information and to initiate the process.
Finally, I’d be remiss in not recognizing—and honoring—the extraordinary efforts being made by many companies in the RV industry to assist our country in a time of need. From the decision by Winnebago Industries executives to use its Stitchcraft facility to manufacture medical masks to Jayco’s donation of several RVs to local first-responders and a health care facility, the industry’s response has been nothing short of amazing.
Some companies involved include Grand Design RV, Airstream, DUO Form, Heartland RV, Covercraft Industries, Keystone RV, Lippert Components Inc., K-Z RV, SylvanSport, Thor Motor Coach, REM Industries, RVIA. Dealers are also assisting their local communities, a few are United RV, RV Sales of Broward and Fun Town RV. Needless to say, I can’t list here everything everyone is doing or all the companies contributing in a positive way.
The RV industry is known for embracing charitable causes, but this may be its finest hour.
Rest assured that, through our monthly magazine and daily newsletter, RV News will continue to keep you apprised of major developments in the RV industry.
Pleasant reading — and, please, stay safe.
RV News Executive Editor