As January draws to a close, we’re excited to invite you to the year’s first multisector discussion, happening on January 31st at 2 PM EST.
Host Brian Searl will be joined by distinguished guests Jenny McCullough, the Director of Brand & Operations at Terramor Outdoor Resort, alongside Angela and Dan Ugstad, owners of Cuyuna Range Campground. We’re also thrilled to welcome Jim Ritchie, the CEO and Founder of AEONrv.
During the discussion, Jenny McCullough will delve into her dynamic role at Terramor Outdoor Resort and KOA, offering insights into the brand’s operations and strategies. Angela and Dan Ugstad will narrate the captivating journey of their campground, sharing their experiences and milestones. Furthermore, Jim Ritchie will introduce us to the innovative products and services offered at AEONrv, highlighting their impact on the RV industry.
Don’t miss this opportunity to gain valuable perspectives from these industry leaders. Join us for a session filled with inspiration, innovation, and insightful conversations!
January 24th Episode Recap
In the latest episode of MC Fireside Chats, hosted by Brian Searl, founder and CEO of Insider Perks, the focus was on the RV industry and outdoor recreation. The episode featured a panel of industry experts: Susan Carpenter from the RV Women’s Alliance, Phil Ingrassia from the RV Dealers Association (RVDA) of the U.S., and Luke Chippindale, who joined from Australia. Brian set the stage for a discussion about the year ahead in the RV industry, noting the significance of this being the first episode of the year.
Brian Searl opened the episode with enthusiasm, highlighting the show’s focus on the RV industry and outdoor recreation. He expressed excitement about the episode being the first of the year, setting expectations for a conversation about the industry’s outlook. The guests for the episode included Susan Carpenter, Phil Ingrassia, and Luke Chippindale, with Brian noting the absence of regular participants Eleanor and Shane.
Luke Chippindale, participating from Australia, discussed his role in government relations for the caravan industry. He focused on working with federal politicians in Canberra to elevate the industry’s voice. Luke talked about the successes in advocating for industry standards and safety, as well as the challenges posed by the shift towards electric vehicles and low-emission policies.
Phil Ingrassia provided an overview of the current RV market in the U.S., discussing trends in wholesale shipments and retail forecasts for 2024. He touched on the impact of interest rates on discretionary purchases and the efforts of manufacturers to moderate price increases. Phil’s insights offered a comprehensive look at the market dynamics in the U.S. RV industry.
Susan Carpenter shared her experience with the RV Women’s Alliance, highlighting its global reach and impact. She discussed the organization’s growth and its role in fostering international collaboration within the RV industry. Susan’s perspective added a global dimension to the conversation, emphasizing the worldwide nature of the RV community.
The conversation then shifted to the impact of COVID-19 on domestic travel. Susan Carpenter brought up how the pandemic had changed travel preferences, with more people exploring their own countries. Luke Chippindale agreed, mentioning research on the wellbeing benefits of caravanning and camping, and the unique connectedness it brings compared to international travel.
Susan recounted her experience at the Florida RV show, noting the trend of consumers trading in older models and the popularity of lower-priced RVs. Phil added that RV shows remain crucial for consumers to physically experience different RV models and layouts, despite the rise of online shopping.
The business aspects of RV sales were also discussed. Phil explained the varying profit margins on different sizes of RVs, and Luke provided insights into the Australian market’s preference for larger towable RVs. This part of the conversation highlighted the differences and similarities in RV markets across different regions.
Brian raised questions about the evolving role of RV shows in the age of internet research. Susan and Phil agreed that while online research is helpful, RV shows offer a unique opportunity for consumers to explore a wide range of options in one place. They emphasized the continued importance of these shows in the RV buying process.
The discussion pivoted back to government relations, with Luke discussing the challenges of prioritizing various industry needs and the future of electric vehicles (EVs) in the caravan industry. Phil shared similar concerns for the U.S. market, emphasizing the need for infrastructure to support EVs and the debate over government involvement in this transition.
The episode concluded with final thoughts from the guests. Luke invited people to experience the Australian caravan industry, emphasizing its maturity, value, and customer experience. Phil and Susan shared their perspectives, and Brian wrapped up the show, highlighting the importance of global insights in the RV and caravan industry. The episode provided a comprehensive look at the RV and caravan industry from different global perspectives, discussing consumer trends, the impact of technology, and the role of government and associations in shaping the industry’s future.
About MC Fireside Chats
Hosted by Brian Searl, CEO of Insider Perks and Modern Campground, MC Fireside Chats airs live every Wednesday at 2 p.m. (ET). The show brings together industry experts to discuss the latest in camping, glamping, RVing, and more. For a recap of previous episodes, visit moderncampground.com/mc-fireside-chats.