RV sales rev up during coronavirus
Americans are buying more RVs due to the pandemic. FOX Business’ Grady Trimble with more.
The RV industry continues to see gains amid the pandemic-influenced road trip boom.
While the travel industry has seen vacation hotspots closed or restricted, rentals and sales for recreational vehicles and camper vans have revved up.
One company dubbed as the “Airbnb of RV rentals” — Outdoorsy — is expected to hit $1 billion in sales by the end of next quarter. The online RV rental and outdoor travel marketplace saw a record year of sales in 2020 after it emerged as a favorable form of travel, where consumers can safely hit the road in a self-contained, safe mode of transport.
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Outdoorsy is one of the many RV companies that has reaped the benefits of travelers hungry to leave their houses. Even though Outdoorsy has seen 400% growth year-over-year, it surged 4,600% from April 2020 to October, according to co-founder and CEO Jeff Cavins. In an interview with Business Insider, Cavins said that interest in RV travel is far from over, despite the typical contraction usually seen in January. Even though 44% of the company’s business transactions occurred last year, its bookings for this month are on par with that of summer.
Much of the growth within the sector has come from younger families and millennials. Outdoorsy reported that millennial RV bookings grew 70% from 2019 to 2020.
Rick’s RV Center in Illinois is also seeing its demographics shift to younger people who are embracing the bright spot that RVs have to offer in a year of gloom.
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“I do believe that people are doing this, and once they get into camping they realize how much fun it is and how you can do what you want, when you want and where you want and it’s all socially distanced,” General Manager of Rick’s RV Center Jeff Pilon told FOX Business’s Grady Trimble. “There’s nothing like S’mores every night.”
The company found such high demand and success early on in the pandemic that it had to replenish inventory. The general work-from-home trends and remote work capabilities have also allowed Rick’s RV Center to expand its possibilities of offerings from cell phone signal equipment to in-vehicle Wi-fi. “A lot of customers are coming to buy an RV because they can work from home, kids can do their school work from inside the RV, and they can pretty much be anywhere in the country while working, Trimble said. “This is obviously a welcome change for a lot of families who want to hit the road in an RV.”