This year’s Ohio RV and Boat Show will showcase central Ohio’s collection of recreational vehicles while dealers discuss the difficulties of the demand amid the pandemic.
On Friday, the Ohio RV and Boat Show returned to The Ohio Expo Center after taking the previous year off. The organizers said that the lack of inventory fueled by the massive demand from those looking for outdoor activities during the pandemic was the cause.
According to Jason Borer of Colerain Family RV of Columbus, inventory is slowly returning to manageable levels
“We’ve done the RV industry is definitely benefited from that. People want to get out. They want to see nature. They want to be a part of it. They want their kids to be a part of it. And that’s where you’ve seen the biggest growth,” Borer said. “[On] the motorized side of it, it is starting to get figured out. We’re seeing more motorized inventory here in the last 60 days. For about four or five months, we saw no new inventory motorized.”
Ohio has witnessed a 180% rise in the demand for recreational vehicles, as per the data of Lending Tree.
“There are some potential headwinds. They are having some issues with inventory in production that are raising prices, and maybe having some RV lots not as full as they might have been before the pandemic,” Lending Tree Chief Credit Analyst Matt Schulz. “And also, inflation is a significant issue, especially as it relates to gas prices. Anyone who’s ever had tried to fill up an RV with gas knows that that is an expensive proposition, even when gas prices are at their lowest, and that’s certainly not the case now.”
The boating industry also faced difficulties with the supply, but one dealer in the area was able to get through the massive demand.
“In July, all of our 2020 product was completely gone,” said Tim Levacy, General Manager of Buckeye Lake Marina. “We already had new stuff coming through the pipeline. The problem we had is when August hit, usually, that inventory coming in is your inventory for the following year. As soon as it hit the ground, it was either presold, or people bought it right away when it came in. So thankfully, the manufacturers have done a great job of getting us the supply of boats that we needed. This year, there were some challenges, but we still got the number of boats or more than we called for our to have for our season.”
The shortages persist in the industry of RVs into 2022 in terms of accommodation options. National campgrounds and campsites are crowded months in advance.
CampgroundViews says 39% of the 2,100 campgrounds and RV parks across the nation that were surveyed had experienced a 20 to 49% rise in reservations for the late summer and the beginning of fall this year.