RV Sales Spike During COVID-19 Lockdown

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and staying home became the things everybody was required to consider. After a while of being home, however, people have started getting cabin fever. So, many people planned their vacations. Car Camping, Overlanding, and anything else having to do with getting out but still being distant from others have garnered a lot of attention in recent weeks. Consequently, now the numbers are showing that anything related to an RV has also had sales spikes during the lockdown. 

A white RV
Thor Motor Coach’s Chateau RV Model | Thor Motor Coach

Cabin fever has set in

During the last two months, people have grown in need to change their home scenery. An RV is a good way to do it and still control the immediate environment. According to a report from CBSLA, in Los Angeles California,

“Campgrounds and RV parks that have been allowed to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic have been filling up quick and rental companies said they, too, have seen a dramatic increase in interest. And travel experts said that interest is likely to continue due to social distancing guidelines and the relative safety of traveling in a self-contained vehicle where people can control the cleanliness of their environment, cook their own food and keep away from others.”

Pop-up camper set up in a campsite complete with a campfire
Campers set up the pop-up camper and campfire at the Agua Caliente State Campsite in the Anzo Borrego Desert outside of San Diego, California | Sandy Huffaker/Corbis via Getty Images

Shannon Nills, the owner of Guaranty RV in Junction City, Oregon, has also been seeing increasing business. He says that he sold double the amount of RV units last weekend than he does on a normal weekend. He also said the trending increase is not isolated to the west coast either. It is happening industry-wide.

COVID Campers

It makes sense. People want to get out, look at something different than the same four walls. However, staying in hotels or near crowds is not what people feel comfortable with yet. They still want to control the cleanliness of their immediate surroundings and have control also of how many people they come into contact with. Consequently, COVID Campers, is now a term. 

Summer is not over, though. In fact, it does not even start until June 20th. But, people still want to get out. So, RVs will probably continue to be in high demand for the next couple of months. However, since the construction of these vehicles was halted during the pandemic lockdown, there may soon be talk in the industry of a lack of inventory. That means that the likelihood of finding great sales now may be tempered with the knowledge of higher pricing adjustments that may be coming as the number of units in stock dwindle. 

A white, double axle, pull behind trailer
The Clipper Ultra-Lite pull-behind camper from Coachmen | Coachmen

RV camps have a COVID bubble

Air travel and cruises are, for the most part, crowd-filled activities. So, the RV is increasingly more attractive, even to people who have never camped or used an RV previously. Additionally, in most campgrounds, RVs are parked 20 to 30 feet apart. So, the COVID bubble of protection is already there. All in all, the attraction to RVing can not be denied. 

According to Bloomberg

“For decades, sales of motor homes and travel trailers you hitch to your car were a reliable indicator of the beginning—and end—of a recession. Sales would dip as a downturn approached, and rise right before a recovery. But this time, it’s different: sales are rising as America enters its worst contraction since the Great Depression. While more than one in five workers has filed for unemployment, some people are shelling out upwards of $100,000 so they can hit the road while staying away from everyone else.”


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The RV may have record sales year

The most recent peak in RV sales was 2017, with 504,000 units sold. This year, sales may near that volume again, if not surpass it, with a concentration in units for first-time. Regardless of what they are called, Corona Campers or COVID Campers, there are a lot of them moving out of sales lots right now. As they do so, they are providing a sense of security for drivers and their families, along with a greater sense of outdoor appreciation.