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RV show draws crowd to fairgrounds

Category: UNSPECIFIED
Source: The News and Observer
Publish Date: Sunday, August 16, 2009
Summary: More customers are buying light-weight travel trailers that are more fuel efficient to haul. They said large RVs that most people buy to park in one location year-round also are popular.

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Ray Martin

Aug. 16, 2009 (McClatchy-Tribune Regional News delivered by Newstex) -- RALEIGH -- Despite tough economic times that have wounded companies that sell luxury items, dozens of people turned out Saturday for a recreational vehicle show at the N.C. State Fairgrounds.

Casual campers and families looking for a retirement home they can park permanently at the beach were among those shopping Saturday. They were impressed by the low prices, for which they credit the recession.

They said that while RV sales seemingly would plummet in an economic downturn, it might make more sense to buy now.

"A lot of people are probably buying RVs they can live in or substitute for a vacation home," said Darrel Bigham, a military veteran from Goldsboro who was searching for a retirement home with his wife. "Then if you want to travel, it's cheaper to just take your place with you."

Mark Paul of Raleigh, who often camps at Emerald Isle with his wife, Jane, said the recession is unlikely to stop devout campers from purchasing RVs.

"The prices are lower for newer [travel trailers]," he said. "People like us always like to look at what's new."

Officials with Camptown RV, sponsors of the event, said more customers are buying light-weight travel trailers that are more fuel efficient to haul. They said large RVs that most people buy to park in one location year-round also are popular.

"People like to just set up at the beach or a camp site and drive back in forth in a [small car]," said Ailene Ross, who has owned and managed Camptown with her husband, David, since 1981. "Or, they want something they can take with them easily, or a trailer that's both."

ray.martin@newsobserver.com or 919-836-4952

Newstex ID: KRTB-0170-37259253


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