The coronavirus has led to all sorts of disruption in the tourism and travel industry, but there is one bright spot. The RV market is way up as travelers seek safe ways to travel during the pandemic and avoid any unwanted health concerns.
More than 40,000 RVs were shipped to buyers in the month of June, according to the RV Industry Association. This is a full ten percent increase from the same time a year ago and an astronomical jump from April’s total of about 7,000 RVs.Read More »
One of the major reasons for this swing is because a few months after the outbreak of the virus in the United States, people are becoming more comfortable with the idea of traveling again for a variety of reasons. They are not enthusiastic about flying but they do want to get out of the house and be on the road. They also want to avoid staying in a hotel possibly full of germs since that is also a risk. This is especially true for those most at risk of getting the virus, particularly seniors.
The other thing that is interesting about this trend is that the people who are purchasing RVs are mostly new to the lifestyle. Dealers are ssying that between 50-80 percent of those who are buying these RVs are traveling in them for the first time. This dwarfs last year’s numbers that were about 25-35 percent of all buyers being new to RVs. These new customers seem to be favoring the lower cost RVs as well.
All of this is certainly good news for RV manufacturers like Winnebago, Thor Industries and Forest River. They expect the trend to continue for at least a few more months, especially during the summer and warmer months.
The last time something like this occurred was following the last economic crisis of 2008 when sales saw a similar boom for a few years. This is of course because RVs are a much cheaper alternative to owning a house.
The people who are traveling in these RVs are seeking out camping destinations, wildlife, natural sights, and outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, climbing, and much more. To these travelers, it is a much more relaxing way to have a family vacation than dealing with the airport, taxis, buses, hotels, and crowded spaces. In addition, since so many people are able to work from anywhere because they are now telecommuting, the ability to work on the go is even more of a factor.
This has led to crowded campgrounds though and some have had difficulty adjusting to the new demand for RVs. It is also a vehicle that does take some getting used to, so there can be added stress in dealing with that aspect.
It is likely that those who work in the travel industry will recognize this new demand and offer additional packages that cater to these travelers. It will also hopefully help a lot of people appreciate the natural beauty of the country too. One thing is for certain, Americans love to travel, and if they have to do so in a new way, they will.