Motorhome vehicles, campers, and RVs have always attracted outdoor enthusiasts for many years. But this year, interest in these types of vehicles has grown tremendously. More people are getting on board with the camping lifestyle.
Why is that and is it here to stay? CNBC discusses how we know this trend is growing and will we see it go away soon. We’ll also look at why it’s so popular this year, and we’ll see if it’s really safe to go camping right now.
Inventory of campers low for some companies
Two popular companies are seeing all-time low inventories on their camping products. Thor and Polaris, the two interviewed for the article are working hard to resupply dealers. But it’s difficult, especially for Polaris, which manufactures more than just camper trailers and RVs.
They’re also trying to restock ATVs and other equipment as well. A Polaris spokesperson said it’s seeing many new customers, mostly millennials, buying power sports equipment. But there’s a spike in women buying its products as well.
The increased demand for their products also surprised a spokesperson for Thor. They went on to say that you’d have to go back at least 15 years to see low inventory numbers that matched what we’re seeing this year.
Why is camping so popular?
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The answer can be summed up in just one word: pandemic. The COVID-19 virus drove Americans into lockdowns for quite some time, and now that most can get out, there are still restrictions in place to ensure the safety of others.
People appear to have the itch to get out of the house and enjoy life. However, the limitations placed on us make getting away much more difficult. Camping proves to be the best avenue to get away, but still maintain some safety.
Motorhomes, RVs, and other types of camping vehicles offer the freedom we seek and still allow us to practice social distancing. So, it’s no surprise sales of campers have gone sky high this year.
Thor industries, the popular RV manufacturer, thinks this trend will continue long term. Remote learning that many children have faced with their schooling works well with this type of arrangement. Those who work from home can also earn their money while on the road. If you don’t have to stay home, why not go out on the road?
Is camping even safe during a Pandemic?
While camping often brings up memories of crowded campgrounds or RV parks, where people are extremely close to their neighbors, it isn’t always the case. There are ways to get out under the starry skies and still be safe from spreading or contracting the virus.
The type of camping that works well for this situation is called boondocking or dispersed camping. You can park your pop-up camper or trailer in an area away from others, out in remote places where there’s not much around you.
Washington Trails Association offers some good tips for those who want to take on dispersed camping. They guide you through getting your camper of choice prepared and ready to go. You’ll also need to know how to find the right area to take your camper. The best advice they give you, though, is to stay fairly local, should something happen.
Some businesses have seen a high demand for camping trailers and are working hard to keep their products in stock, but it’s not always easy. Since camping allows people to get away while staying safe during these rocky times, sales may not go down for a while.