Truck Camper Magazine responds to Go RVing, RVIA, and SSI’s non-response. Here’s the counter argument they failed to submit, and a realistic list of demands to remedy decades of negligence towards truck campers. We are not letting this go.
After publishing, “The Go RVing Truck Camper Challenge”, we invited the Go RVing campaign, RVIA, and SSI to respond. The article was quite critical of their organizations and we wanted to offer them the opportunity to present their counter arguments. We even offered to publish their unedited responses here in Truck Camper Magazine. Unfortunately, Go RVing campaign, RVIA, and SSI failed to answer.
The continued silence from Go RVing, RVIA, and SSI can be interpreted in one of three ways. First, they are somehow not aware of the article. Second, they are aware of the article but did not bother to read it. And third, they read the article and decided – for whatever reason – not to make a public comment.
I am going to speculate that the third answer is correct. It’s highly unlikely that someone at each of these organizations wasn’t made aware of this article. The article was sent to tens of thousands of Truck Camper Magazine readers and truck camper industry leaders, posted on every major social media platform (tagged with the Go RVing link), and picked up by major RV industry websites including RV Daily Report and RV Pro Magazine. Unless they’re all at the beach, they saw the article.
Having been made aware, they would have read the article and seen their organization critiqued in detail. That means they read the article, and decided not to respond.
Since they failed to respond on their own behalf, I will. What follows is a response that I wrote for the Go RVing campaign, RVIA, and SSI. To be absolutely clear, they had nothing to do with this response. I put myself in their shoes, considered their perspectives, and answered as them. In my opinion, this is how they should have replied:
Thank you for the article and the opportunity to discuss the truck camper marketplace. Here is our response to the points made in the article:
1. The RVIA only reports truck camper data from eight states because only eight states require truck camper registration. Motorhomes and towable registration is required in all 50 states making reporting not only possible, but efficient. If there was an accurate and efficient way to collect registration data for truck campers, the RVIA would report that information.
2. The RVIA only reports shipment data from seven truck camper manufacturers because only seven of the twenty-two active truck camper manufacturers are members of our organization. We would welcome the other fifteen truck camper manufacturers to join the RVIA and report their monthly sales data to us. Without their membership and participation, we do not have access to their monthly shipment data.
3. The low RVIA membership and participation from the truck camper industry results in a high discrepancy between the amount of revenue generated by truck camper seal sales versus motorhome and towable seal sales. The ratio is actually quite extreme.
Truck camper seal sales generated about $200,000 in sales for the RVIA and Go RVing campaign last year (3,200 reported units x $63 per seal). To put that number into perspective, the 2017 Go RVing campaign alone cost $17 million. The revenue to cover the other $16.8 million was sourced from motorhome and towable seal sales. Money talks.
4. When we hold elections for influential positions within the RVIA, few if any members of the truck camper industry step up to run. This results in a lack of truck camper representation when decisions that affect the truck camper marketplace occur. This helps to explain why there are so few truck campers throughout the 2017 Go RVing campaign.
To achieve better representation and reporting for truck campers, we need better data, more participation, and additional revenue from truck campers. We look forward to working with you towards these goals.
Thanks again for the opportunity.
The RVIA / SSI / Go RVing Campaign (not really)
Two Realistic Demands
After considering the counter arguments on behalf of the RVIA, SSI, and Go RVing campaign, I have concluded that the truck camper industry should have a very short, focused, and realistic list of demands for these organizations.
1. The top priority should be the insertion of language explaining the incompleteness of the RVIA and SSI truck camper data anywhere this information is published or displayed.
For the reasons stated in the suggested response, the problem of inaccurate sales and shipment data is not going to be solved tomorrow, but the continued damage of this false data can be minimized with a simple statement. Here’s what I’m suggesting be included with all RVIA and SSI truck camper data: