Despite the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc on most of the travel industry, RV and Motorhome sales are on the rise. With state parks and campgrounds reopening, many Americans seem to be opting for a RV trip to the wilderness instead of highly populated vacation destinations.
In an interview with USA Today, senior manager for the RV Industry Association Monika Geraci spoke on one of the major benefits of RV camping. “It does allow you to get out but maintain that social distance,” she said. “We’re hearing from dealers across the country: their foot traffic (and) their sales are up.”
“The Summer of the RV”
Due to the pandemic, there are still several states with camping restrictions. However, many of the remaining restrictions may be lifted soon. “This is going to be the summer of the RV,” vice president of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, Dave Basler, said. “People have been sheltering in place … and they want to get outside in a safe and responsible way.”
Thor Industries, which owns brands such as Jayco and Airstream, released a statement on Monday about the company’s uptick in sales. CEO Bob Martin revealed that the company restarted production last month and that sales are looking “increasingly positive.”
RV Dealers Association president, Phil Ingrassia, explains that sales were slow during stay at home orders. As restrictions are being lifted, he says “it went from zero to 60.” An encouraging trend for the RV industry is that many prospective buyers are new to RVs.
More Prospective RV and Motorhome Owners Than Ever
In a survey conducted for the RV Industry Association, an Ipsos poll found promising growth. Around 20% of Americans surveyed are more interested in RVs as a recreational travel option. Nearly half cited health concerns as to their increased interest.
Toby O’Rourke, CEO of Kampgrounds of America, explains that the camping industry as a whole is booming. “Our business is rebounding significantly,” she said. “Regardless of how you’re camping, there’s ample social distancing.”
Many campers and RV’ers this summer are also staying relatively close to home. Josh Bell, a Kampgrounds of America franchisee, says it’s “one of the big trends we’re seeing is they are comfortable when they are only two or three hours from home.”
[H/T USA Today]