A number of concerns were addressed Tuesday (April 29) during the opening session of the two-day National Issues Conference sponsored by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
Several dozen campground owners and association leaders from across the U.S. attended the session, which was held at the Cherry Hill Park Conference Center in College Park, Md.
Speakers included Bill Garpow, executive director of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA), and Matt Wald, director of governmental affairs with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Each presented his trade group’s position on the RVIA adoption of a policy that ups the allowable size for travel trailers from 320 square feet to 400 square feet. RV manufacurers have been making 400-square-foot trailers since the first of the year.
RPTIA is staging a campaign opposing the decision.
“Both sides make pretty good cases,” ARVC Chairman Mark Anderson told Woodall’s Campground Management following the opening day session.
ARVC and some state associations have supported RPTIA in its opposition to the RVIA policy, though Anderson noted ARVC’s executive board has not revisited the issue since taking its stand a year ago.
Garpow and Wald also spoke on what each association is doing to counter claims of unsafe levels of formaldehyde in finished RVs and recreational park trailers and to reduce such contamination in future products. Anderson said the two groups have spent considerable amounts of money to collect scientific data to defend their products. “They are pretty upbeat about it,” Anderson said.
Other speakers included:

  • Carolyn Mica, director of communications for the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), who spoke on the importance of attracting young people and teens back to the outdoors, “which is an important issue for us,” Anderson said.
  • Kera Tomlin, ARVC’s director of marketing and communications, who spoke on ARVC’s “Plan-It Green” initiative.
  • Aubrey King, ARVC’s paid Washington lobbyist.
    Today’s session started at 8 a.m. at the Capitol Club in Washington, D.C., to discuss small business issues, followed by a roundtable discussion on the Highway Reauthorization Act, fuel issues and a presentation by the Petroleum Marketers Association.
    During a noon luncheon, ARVC will present its Federal RVer of the Year Award to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and a public service award to Lyle Laverty, assistant secretary of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
    The participants will meet with their representatives in Congress this afternoon and reconvene at the Capitol Club for a debriefing.
    ARVC CEO Linda Profaizer also is attending the conference.