Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Campgrounds & RV Parks, Destination Camping & RV Resorts, RV Campgrounds, RV Repair, RVing & the Legal System, State & National Parks, Tent Campgrounds
Camping and RV’ing Support American Jobs (Opinion-Editorial Submission)
That is what this Country needs right now to get us out of the economic slump. Any time unemployment rises, our economy suffers.
While all of our politicians keep trumping ideas and probable solutions for putting Americans back to work, none has addressed the positive impact the ownership and use of recreational vehicles has on our economy.
RV’ers contribute to the employment of hundreds of thousands of American workers. It is estimated that for every RV built, sold and used by families in the USA, two full-time jobs are created or sustained.
There are at least 8 million (8,000,000) American households that own at least one RV. We also annually visit many of the 13,000 privately owned RV parks and 1,600 public facilities that cater to RV’s – many more can be counted if we include tent campers.
It all begins with the manufacture of RV and camping components from raw materials. We need steel, aluminum, fiberglass, lumber, plastics and rubber – just to mention a few of many. Add in furniture, recreational gear, clothing, and accessories and the demand multiplies. All of these resources and materials are only obtainable from companies that give people jobs.
Once workers convert all of the raw materials into their various configurations such as chassis frames, specialized windows, doors, refrigerators, air conditioners, and heating systems it takes even more men and women to supply the craftsmanship to build a RV – engineers, carpenters, welders, electricians, plumbers and designers. Once again, just a few of the many skilled workers needed to complete the RV for consumer use.
RV dealerships employ sales personnel, mechanics, cleaning crews, parts managers, and financial experts. The dealerships pay taxes on their buildings and property, which support state and local economies that employ a diversity of people in public service.
People like you and me purchase the RVs for travel, family togetherness, pleasure and discovery. We often need trucks to serve as tow vehicles or “toads” to pull behind motorhomes. This need supports yet another industry that mimics the beginnings of the RV.
We want places to park our RVs to enjoy recreational opportunities. This creates a need for campgrounds and RV parks. This in turn creates yet another long list of job producing opportunities such as grounds keepers, store managers, security, sanitation, construction, and entertainers. This listing is only a small sampling of the jobs that support day-to-day operations. Let us not overlook the business that RVers bring to the communities they visit by purchasing food, fuel, and services.
I think any one that takes the time to read this will begin to realize just how important the RV and camping lifestyle is to our nation’s economy. We not only support the current job market, but also are constantly creating new job opportunities.
The manufacturing of some the materials and components used to build an RV have been taken out of America, but RV construction, sales and support in the form of factories, service centers, campgrounds, parks and recreation are still major contributors to American jobs.
Stop and think about it a moment – if there were no RVs, how many hundreds of thousands of American jobs would be non-existent or lost?
Or, on the other hand, how many jobs would be created if the restrictive policies and often-heavy taxes imposed by some states and localities were amended to encourage rather than impede the ownership and use of RVs?
For example, my home county of Hanover, Virginia, taxes every owner of an RV 3.85% of the RV’s value every year. A family that owns a basic 28 foot camping trailer valued at $21,000 will pay an annual personal property tax exceeding $800. Ironically, privately owned aircraft kept at the local community airport are only taxed at a rate of 1/2%. It is not too difficult to understand the priorities of the revenuers – small community airports come before families.
Restrictive ordinances that prohibit parking of an RV also hurt the industry and discourage ownership – which takes away American jobs. In many communities if you cannot manage to get the RV into your back yard and behind a fence it must be stored in another location. While storage in itself creates jobs, it also presents yet another regressive expense that discourages RV ownership.
Like the proverbial Ostrich with its head in the sand, way too many people charged with passing ordinances, laws and levying taxes that make RV ownership more difficult fail to see just how important we are to America’s economy. The time for changes that encourage and support RV ownership are here.