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Texas is Latest State to Become ���RV Friendly���

RESTON, Va., December 8, 2005 ��� ���RV Friendly��� highway signs will soon be appearing on Texas highways. The Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) ruled last month that RV Friendly signs be allowed on the ���gas-food-lodging��� logo highway exit signs of qualified businesses.

In doing so, the TDOT proclaimed that the ���Federal Highway Administration has issued interim approval to allow states to utilize the RV Friendly symbol if the state���s program meets minimum guidelines. The department agrees with the comment that these symbols should be allowed for those participating businesses meeting the criteria outlined by the Federal Highway Administration.���

The RV Friendly logo���a bright yellow circle with the letters RV���alerts recreation vehicle (RV) motorists of facilities adjacent to highways that cater to the special needs of RVs at specific highway exits. When RV Friendly logos are included on the logos of qualified establishments, motorists know that those businesses will provide parking facilities that accommodate RVs.

Motorists driving or towing RVs can have difficulty identifying and locating restaurants, gas stations and tourist attractions that have parking spaces and other amenities large enough to easily maneuver their vehicles. Faced with the desire not to get into a tight spot, RV motorists may bypass destinations and businesses where they could have been well accommodated.

���This problem can be alleviated with RV Friendly signage that alerts motorists to establishments catering to the needs of RVers,��� said RVIA President David Humphreys. ���When the RV symbol is attached to the highway exit sign logo of qualified facilities, RV motorists can be confident that those businesses will provide an easily accessible destination,��� Humphreys added.

The Texas RV Friendly initiative was led by Texas Recreation Vehicle Association Executive Director Clark McEwen and a group of grassroots citizens. ���I was very happy to work with both RVIA and the RV owner clubs on this issue,��� said McEwen. ���The strength of the RV community comes from our unity. The RV Friendly initiative benefits RV manufacturers, dealers and users, so it was a real pleasure working on this project. This was a real coup for the entire RV community because we were able to get it accomplished administratively rather than legislatively,��� added McEwen. ���Working with the DOT was much easier than introducing new legislation in a very difficult legislative session.���

Texas is the sixth state to adopt the RV Friendly road sign initiative, joining Oregon, Louisiana, Tennessee, Washington and Florida. RVIA���s goal is 50-state implementation of the symbol.

RV ownership has reached record levels in the United States with an estimated 30 million RV enthusiasts. On America���s roads today are 8.2 million RVs, which include motorhomes, travel trailers, folding camping trailers, truck campers and sport utility RVs. That���s nearly one RV in every 12 vehicle-owning households in the United States, according to a 2005 University of Michigan study.

RV travelers spend substantial amounts of money on food, clothing, souvenirs and entertainment in the communities that surround their campgrounds. A 2004 Woodall���s/ARVC RV Park and Campground Survey estimated that more than $3.8 billion was spent by RVers and campers in local communities as they visited the nation���s commercial RV parks and campgrounds from Memorial Day to Labor Day. RV owners use their vehicles an average 26.3 days annually, according to the University of Michigan Study. More than two-thirds of RVers take spur-of-the-moment trips year round, using their vehicles to support a wide range of recreational activities and interests, from camping, fishing, hiking, biking and boating to antiquing, horse shows, tailgating at sports events and outlet mall shopping.

Today���s typical RV owner is 49 years old, married, with an annual household income of $68,000���higher than the median for all households, the same University of Michigan study found.

���Families want to reconnect with America���s great outdoors and spend quality time together on vacation,��� explains Humphreys. ���RVing offers the best possible way���providing the ultimate in freedom, flexibility and control. America���s highways and byways are rich in natural settings, breathtaking views and scenic spots ideal for RVing.���

For more information, contact Matt Wald, RVIA Director of Government Affairs, (703) 620-6003 extension 313, RVIA ( is the national association representing more than 550 manufacturers and component suppliers producing approximately 98 percent of all RVs made in the U.S.

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