New RV Buyers Growing, Thanks To COVID

New RV Buyers Growing, Thanks To COVID

People buy RVs for all kind of reasons. It’s on their bucket list for retirement. It’s a way to enjoy camping with their family. The list of reasons is lengthy. Now, there’s a new reason – to enjoy vacations without worry of exposure to Corona Virus.

There’s even a name for these first-time buyers – “COVID Campers.” Dealerships across the nation have seen the number of new RV buyers growing in the last few months, as people begin to move out of self-quarantine and into the world again. These newbies are jumping into the RV lifestyle by purchasing entry-level and mid-range campers. Many of these buyers are hesitant to fly, take a cruise or visit areas where there are crowds of people and traveling in an environment in which you have direct control is appealing to those who are suffering from wanderlust or COVID Confinement Fever.

RV manufacturers, which shut down for weeks early in the COVID-19, have almost reached their pre-quarantine numbers. Sales are strong and even RV rentals are showing an uptick in bookings.

According to Thor Industries President and CEO Bob Martin, as the company’s sales decreased with the shut-down, the number of web searches and inquiries began to spike, according to a recent interview by Forbes. This interest, spurred on by a reluctance to travel by air or stay in hotels, translated into sales that drove the RV sales number back up to 90% of pre-COVID projections withing 45-50 days.

RVers have long enjoyed being able to plan their vacations and trips based on their own comfort level. Just as houses were a place of refuge to ride out the first Covid-19 peak, RVs are a home on wheels. As an owner, you know what’s clean, you know who has been invited in and you can social distance yourself by selecting campgrounds and camping sites that suit your style and comfort level as far as intermingling with others. And you have the comforts of home while still getting out and enjoying the trip and experiences.

Just as there are reasons to buy an RV and get into the lifestyle, there are other reasons why an RV is a smart choice when you are concerned about the pandemic. Campgrounds and campsites allow for social distancing already and contact with other humans is at your discretion. A polite nod or wave demonstrates your sociable side without forcing you into closer contact.

It also does away with boredom and satisfies a desire to gather experiences. There’s only so much streaming that can be done cooped up in a house. Heading to the outdoors and into the woods, the mountains, the prairies or the coast is both therapeutic and fun.

Preparing an RV to serve as a self-isolation chamber on wheels is not difficult.

  • Sanitize and clean. Most likely, the RV used for camping trips is not always cleaned as thoroughly as a house is cleaned. Or at least it is not cleaned as often. Take time to do a thorough cleaning of the RV. Not only will it be fresher, but it will also help maintain a more sanitary environment.
  • Gather your cleaning supplies. An all-purpose cleaner is a good starting point, but there are also make-it-yourself options. Old timers swear by baking soda and water to remove tough stains without damaging hard surfaces, like a stove. You’ll also want to have some clean rags, sponges, brushes, and other tools to get to those hard to reach places.
  • Focus on touched surfaces. Health experts recommend that surfaces that are touched most frequently by others be cleaned frequently by using stronger cleaners and disinfectants, such s bleach or alcohol wipes. These surfaces include door handles, faucets, steering wheels, remotes, camp tables and chairs and communal dishes and cups. Remember that wipes should not be flushed down the RV commode but thrown away in the waste basket. Flushing these can cause damage to the black water tank.
  • Put together a COVID kit. Similar to a first aid kit, the items in this kit give added protection when using public facilities. Facemasks should be included in the kit as most health officials stress the importance of limiting exposure to others as well as providing protection for the mask-wearer to stop the spread of any respiratory-transmitted virus. Other items are hand sanitizer, a disinfectant spray, latex gloves and even sanitizing wipes.
  • Practice social distancing. Be mindful of others while on trails or walkways. In tight or confined spaces, such as on bridges, in tunnels or while waiting in line to enter a visitor’s center or attraction, stay back and yield to others already on the bridge. Not only does it meet the guidelines for COVID-19, it is also simply polite to do so.

While it might still be a while before things return to normal, RVing does not have to be one of the activities to give up. In fact, it is a welcome respite from the stress of staying home and a way to enjoy life safely.

Aug 20th 2020 Lois Tomaszewski

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