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.