Spike in RV interest, sales due to coronavirus pandemic

American Family RV and RV Industry Assoc. explain recent uptick

SALEM, Va. – The coronavirus pandemic is already changing how people are thinking about travel and the proof can be seen in the national spike in RV sales.

American Family RV has dealerships in Salem and Chesapeake, Virginia.

CEO Layne Rowland said that over the last couple of months, they’ve implemented changes like wiping down the RVs before and after tours and giving shopping tours online.

April is historically a busy month for RV sales. Rowland told 10 News at one point traffic flow in the Salem dealership dropped 70%-80%.

Then the company’s luck quickly changed.

Rowland said the company’s website traffic recently went through the roof, doubling what it was two months ago. He predicts the RV fever will only continue.

“We can feel the uptick here in the last month. I would say whereas it was two months ago in Chesapeake and so it’s spreading. And I hear that throughout the industry that there are pockets in America where RVs are on fire.”

His concern is getting the product since manufacturers were closed in March and April. Those factories reopened earlier this month.

RV Industry Association represents the manufacturers in the business, but keeps a pulse on the entire industry.

Spokesperson Monika Geraci said the association is seeing numbers in sales rise in states that are reopening campgrounds including here in Virginia. They’ve also seen an increase in RV rentals.

The peak in interest doesn’t come as a surprise as more people look into social distancing long term.

“It allows you to control your environment and that’s really important on the other side of this pandemic to be able to control when and how you interact with people," said Geraci.

RVIA is cautiously optimistic and believe manufacturers will keep up with the increasing demand.

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