RV sales and rentals have skyrocketed as stir-crazy San Antonians seek out safer ways to travel during COVID-19.
Angela and Bernard Jolivette have plenty of reasons to travel. With a son and daughter in Dallas, Angela’s mother and sister living in California and Bernard’s family in Louisiana, the couple knows that maintaining cherished family bonds requires a certain amount of wanderlust.
But when COVID-19 hit, any thought of travel more or less evaporated. “My husband and I are high-risk because we are over 62 and we were worried about hotels and planes,” Angela says. “I just realized that is something I didn’t want to engage in.”
But when the Jolivettes really thought about it, they realized that doing all they could to avoid infection didn’t necessarily mean they couldn’t see friends and family. Friends from church were already enthusiastic RVers, so the couple decided to follow their lead. They visited Crestview RV and drove away with a 28-and-a-half-foot BTouring Cruiser RV. “We love camping and fishing, and I was a Girl Scout and he is retired military,” Angela says. “We basically felt we would use it during COVID but would have it for life.”
The desire to maintain some level of normalcy— which for many of us includes travel and time outdoors—while avoiding the inherent risk of exposure that comes from venturing away from home has spurred tremendous interest in RVs, both from renters and new owners. Indeed, according to a recent survey by RVshare, an RV rental marketplace, Labor Day bookings were up 50 percent compared to last year and rentals are expected to continue rising through autumn, which is unusual. “RV travel is a seasonal business and as we look toward the fall months, we usually see reservations drop off,” says RVshare CEO Jon Gray.
Purchases are also up, with the RV Industry Association reporting that shipments of RVs from manufacturers to dealers were up 11 percent this past June compared to the same month in 2019 and up 45 percent between May and June of this year. “Younger, first-time buyers are turning to RVs in droves,” says Monika Geraci, a spokesperson for the RV Industry Association, noting that there was also a 40 percent increase this year of smaller and towable RV purchases.
Check out the full article from the San Antonio Mag here.