Consumers have developed a new interest in recreational vehicles since the COVID-19 outbreak. Many consumers are reluctant to fly because of the risk of exposure to the virus while others fear being stranded should there be a second wave of the virus.
Many consumers also have concerns about staying in hotels and resorts. As a result, RV travel has become an increasingly attractive option for consumers who want to enjoy their vacation time while maintaining social distance.
Forty-six million Americans plan to take an RV trip in the next 12 months, according to findings from the market researcher Ipsos that the RV Industry Association funded.
Even President Donald Trump suggested he may ditch Air Force One for an RV trip to New York.
“I think I’m gonna buy an RV and travel in an RV with our first lady,” Trump said at a news conference on Friday, June 5 at the White House. “It’s great, people are traveling. And you know what? They’re traveling in the United States. And they’re also driving. And they’re building the trailers.”
Enthusiasts say the vehicles are thriving because of social distancing concerns. Air and train travel have become less appealing. With an RV, there’s no need to share a hotel elevator or airplane bathroom, and meals can be prepared inside the vehicle.
RV rental platforms like Outdoorsy and RVshare have seen a surge in bookings. Outdoorsy saw daily bookings rebound by 450% after a spike in cancellations in the early days of the outbreak while RV share has seen their bookings rise between April and May.
The majority of RV manufacturers in Indiana restarted production in May. Manufacturers in Indiana account for approximately 80% of US RV production. In some states, RV dealers can sell online which allows for a contactless experience for customers. Dealers are using digital channels like Facebook, YouTube and Craigslist to reach customers as well as offering virtual tours, video chats and home delivery to eliminate the need for in person contact.
- Recreational Vehicles: Pixaby