An avid traveler who’s flown all over the world, Pam Katz admits she was a rookie when it came to RVs.
Before COVID-19, the Deerfield mom never gave much thought to recreational vehicles, a broad category that includes everything from towable pop-up campers to luxe motor homes tricked out with heated floors, fancy entertainment centers and walls that expand with the push of a button.
“An RV trip was never on my bucket list,” said Katz, who nonetheless found herself at 83RV in Long Grove in late April, paying a little over $2,000 to rent a Coachmen Freelander.
Katz and her husband, an ophthalmologist, needed to get their college senior daughter back to campus in North Carolina. They also wanted to pick up Katz’s parents in Florida, so the octogenarian snowbirds didn’t have to fly back to the Midwest in the midst of a pandemic.
The travel industry has taken it on the chin during the coronavirus crisis, but the RV market is showing signs of resiliency despite a beleaguered economy and sky-high unemployment rates. Production began ramping up again this month at major RV manufacturers like Thor and Winnebago Industries, which suspended operations for several weeks during the pandemic. Dealers report strong demand for RV rentals and sales as would-be travelers look for options that minimize the risk of catching the virus.
“They see an RV as a way of getting outside in a safe and secure environment that they can control,” said economist Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan’s monthly surveys of consumer sentiment. “I think the industry is in a really good place.”
Check out the full article from the Chicago Tribune here.