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RV sales and rentals booming amid COVID-19 concerns

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SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — Many vacations have been delayed or canceled because of COVID-19 and a lot of people are changing the way they travel.

Many people are concerned about flying on planes and staying in hotels, so RVs are becoming one of the best ways to take a vacation. Sales and rentals are way up this summer.

AAA’s Summer travel forecast shows Americans taking about 707 million trips between July and September. 97% of those will be road trips.

“AAA members that have added that RV membership is up 200% in comparison to last year, so I think that is very telling,” said Doni Lee Spiegel, public relations manager for AAA Central Penn.

At Meyer’s RV Superstores, sales are up 60% compared to this time last year.

“A lot of people are saying they’re just getting out in the country, going to see things that they hadn’t seen before,” said Chuck Jablonski, general manager at Meyer’s RV Superstores. “Some of them are still heading down to the beach like they normally did, but now they’re going to take the camper with them instead.”

Jablonski has seen a lot of first time buyers.

“We’ve started to notice that a lot of people are using the current vehicles that they have, so a lot of single axel trailers, a little bit smaller,” Jablonski said. “And they’re also seeing a big growth in the bunkhouse, and we’re also seeing a big spike in the Class C motorhomes, in that 22 to 25-foot range.”

On the rental side, Tammy Reese is also a lot busier as owner/operator of the Harrisburg branch of The Camper Connection.

“This season we’re actually seeing same-day turnarounds with rentals. We’re seeing back to back rentals,” Reese said. “I have seven driveables in my fleet. Every single one of them is rented out the entire summer. There’s no gaps.”

Some of those rentals are making people want to buy their own.

“I think we’re getting a lot of people interested in that type of vehicle or camper and they really enjoy it and we’re turning people on to new ideas on how to travel, how to vacation,” Reese said.

Those in the RV industry hope this trend continues after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

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On the road … again? Here’s how families are finding ways to vacation. | Recreation

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Pam Beamer and her two daughters, ages 17 and 19, recently got away to New Hampshire, although that was not the road trip they had originally planned.

She and her daughters had scheduled time off from work and were set to leave June 26 to visit her brother and his family in Raleigh, N.C. Two days earlier, following Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s announcement during his coronavirus update, they learned they would have to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return to New York, which would not be possible with their jobs.

North Carolina was one of the states listed in the travel advisory, which was based on the infection rate of states.

“It was a very last-minute issue. We had to unfortunately cancel our trip to North Carolina,” Beamer said.

Rather than stay home and mope, they booked a hotel in Portsmouth, N.H., for three nights. This also gave them the opportunity to take the coastal drive to nearby Kennebunkport, Maine, to check out the town and beach.

Travel this summer takes extra research, advance planning, extra packing (face coverings, gloves, hand sanitizer, etc.) and, yes, some revisions, even close to departure.

Among its considerations, the CDC advises finding out whether Covid-19 is spreading in your local area or in any of the places you are going.

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Millions Of Americans Taking Summer Trips Despite Coronavirus Pandemic – CBS Boston

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San Diego campground struggles to book Memorial Day weekend guests

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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — We are one week away from Memorial Day weekend, but with the Coronavirus Pandemic, travel is close to a stand-still. This year, a popular local campsite is struggling to book holiday guests.

Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be Campland on the Bay’s busiest time of the year. Last year, they were at 100% capacity, with about 3,500 people at the popular RV and campground.

This year, reservations are nowhere near that number.

“Everything has changed,” Campland general manager, Ahmed Ait-Lahcen, said.

For the first time in 20 years, AAA is not issuing a Memorial Day travel forecast. They say COVID-19 compromised the accuracy of their data. Last year, a near-record 43 million Americans traveled during the holiday weekend. This year, they are guessing that there will be fewer people traveling to comply with stay-at-home rules.

Campland is feeling this first hand.

“We’re continuing to see cancellations,” Ait-Lahcen said.

At less than 70% capacity, the popular bayside campground is looking meager. To comply with city, county, and state rules, their restaurants are open only for pick-up orders, and their market has a five-customer limit.

Nearly all of their amenities, including group activities, pool access, and basketball courts, are taped off.

“We’re not taking any chances there,” Ait-Lahcen said. “We closed it.”

There are not a lot of reservations for new Memorial Day weekend guests. Most of the people at the site now are out-of-state visitors who decided to extend their stay to protect themselves from worse COVID-19 situations at home.

“They can’t go back to New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania,” Ait-Lahcen said. “They’re still here. It’s safer for them to be here.”

Ait-Lahcen says even without the usual fun activities the campground offers, families still have the beautiful San Diego weather and each other to get through the unusually slow upcoming holiday weekend.

“You can still go pick up a meal and stay within your site, which provides you a respite or an opportunity to get out of the house,” Ait-Lahcen said. “You get that, but in a confined type of environment. “

For more information on Campland’s COVID-19 changes, click here.



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115 million to travel back home after holidays; experts calling it the worst travel day of the year

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Industry experts are calling it the worst travel day of the year, as some 115 million Americans begin their journeys back home.

The biggest concern around larger cities where traffic tie-ups can slow things to a crawl for extended periods. We spoke with one driver who goes from Toronto to Orlando every year. He thinks the day after Christmas is the best way to go.

“Yeah, Boxing Day we think there are less trucks we’re still counting we don’t know and also less RV’s I think we counted only four so far from Toronto” said Gerry Terhaar, a holiday traveller.

AAA is predicting that this season could set an all-time record for the most people on the roads for the holiday.

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