Wednesday, February 8, 2023


RV industry publications ignore major news item

By Chuck Woodbury

We ran an article last week about Ryan Andersen, the owner of Andersen Hitches of Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was photographed vandalizing an iconic red rock arch on federal lands near Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. He apologized for the act after the photo was widely circulated on social media.

The Andersen family with the graffiti behind them.

The Utah Attorney General in Salt Lake City will likely press charges, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson Melodie Rydalch. The maximum penalty for such a violation is a $100,000 fine and one year in prison.

What disturbs me almost as much as what Andersen did is that now, a week after this news was reported by Utah and Idaho news media, not a single one of the major RV industry news websites mentioned the incident — not,, or

Regardless of Mr. Andersen’s intentions in defacing the iconic arch, or his apology, wouldn’t you think that as the owner of a well-known company in the RV industry that his act of vandalism would have been important and highly relevant news to industry publications?

But no. Silence. My guess is the RV news websites did not want to offend an advertiser or potential advertiser (Andersen’s company) by reporting the incident. If you want evidence of how money influences how news is reported (or not reported, in this case), this is, I believe, a good example.




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Dana Nelsen
4 years ago

Dana Nelsen here, publisher of RV News magazine. I found your comments very interesting. I am unique in that in the last 15 years, I have worked at, run or managed all but one of the RV industry trade magazines. No one else in our entire industry can say that, so hopefully that lends credibility to the fact I may have some insight on this. I was a writer, editor and publisher of RV PRO magazine (where I got my start), I was Editor and Chief of RV Trade Digest (God rest its soul) and am the current publisher and owner of RV News magazine.

So let me first say that some of what you are saying above is incorrect.
1. RV News did indeed cover this on our website and in our daily e-newsletter.
2. Any and every RV industry publication salesperson and publisher knows that Andersen Hitches has never advertised, nor has intention to advertise at any time in the future in RV trade magazines. In 15 years, I’ve never seen them put an ad anywhere. Trade magazine employees don’t even bother to call them… like ever. Andersen Hitches rarely if ever returns phone calls from sales or editorial staff. So your logic on why the magazines didn’t cover them is… well… just flat out wrong.

I’ll propose another sugestion why the industry perhaps didn’t cover it ( although read above we did). Andersen is out of touch with the RV industry. From my perspective they are so far removed, that very few people in the RV business community care one whit about what they do. The reality is they are a company who has been left behind in the RV business community. There are other companies that make similar product that are not only more engaged with the RV business community but also with RV consumer end users from my perspective. I could cite 100 things as evidence of this.

I say that not because these other companies are advertisers, because some of them are not. B&W is a great example. They are not one of my advertisers. They arehowever one of the best hitch companies in the RV industry when it comes to taking care of RV consumers and working with their business partners in the RV industry. They also take great care of their employees. Another great company is Pullrite/Pulliam. I know no other company who tests their products as much as Pullrite does to make sure they are safe and easy to use by RVers. They also test other companies products religiously to look for safety issues. Now Pullrite is my advertiser. Although they are one of the smallest advertisers I have. When was the last time I wrote about them… I honestly can’t say. It’s been a long time. I would say it was probably the last time they did something that was newsworth to the RV business community.

I will leave you with this, rather than speculate on how or why we do they things we do… or don’t do the things we don’t do, I extend a warm hand of friendship to call me up any time and just ask. We aren’t competitors. I don’t produce information for the RVing community. I focus on the business end of RVing. I do however serve as a director for the RV/MH Hall of Fame, have served as a director for the RV Aftermarket Association and serve as a committee member for the RV Industry Assiciation Aftermarket taskforce. I’ve been around awhile (cough) and odds are good, if I don’t know the answer, I have the cell number of someone who does. I’m always willing to help. My contact info is on my website at I’m unwilling to give my cell in a forumn like this but if you are any kind of journalist at all in the RV industry (grin), I’ll bet you know someone who has my cell.
Warm Regards,

Pat T
4 years ago

I read the article. Read Mr Andersen’s comments.. I say let it be..let it go… If he had not been caught… He would not have gained the learned lesson. Mistakes in life bring on some powerful passions…it is God’s way of bringing us to the next level.

Edward Price
4 years ago

I refer you to Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
I suspect that most trade publications are composed from press releases, and since Andersen Hitches hasn’t done a press release, the incident never happened.

4 years ago

He made a terrible and foolish mistake, he has apologized and will face a hefty fine. Lesson learned, I’m sure.
Good grief! Get over your {bleeped} witch hunt and drop your pitchfork and torch.

Robert Pulliam
4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Amen Chuck, if I were the judge to hear his case(if he does go before a judge) he would receive the maximum sentence as an example to the general public that NO ONE is above the law. [Edited to keep politics out of our comments — Diane at]

4 years ago
Reply to  MCV

People on site asked the vandal to stop. He refused. Then he sent his two sons to change the license plates on their vehicle so he would not get identified. Who carries extra plates and puts them on the wrong vehicle? Only car thieves do that kind of thing!!!

The man is only sorry he was caught. Period. Now he is in damage control.

4 years ago

Wonderful & Informative Article.
What are these parents teaching those Children re Grafetti too? It’s fine to do it if no one sees ? Makes me ill.
I hope he gets a fine & the Entire Family has to do C0mmunity Service picking up Garbage in a really Hot area by the Desert. Sad story. Sad. They are the type to leave trash and dog poop in a Campground too. They are not very educated either. Yuk.

Steven W. Browning, Sr.
4 years ago

Spot on Chuck.

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