Since the pandemic began, people have tried various ways to travel and go outdoors—one of the most well-known options being RVs.
According to the RV Industry Association, 600,000 travel homes were sold in 2021, a 19% increase from 2020.
Local businesses have witnessed the demand, saying the past couple of years were their most active. Charlie Obaugh RV and Outdoors have seen a specific spike in new and first-time buyers.
“I’d say a good 30 to 40 percent of the people we see are either new or they’re trying to figure it out to what their capabilities are with what their vehicle is that they currently own if they can tow something if they can buy something motorized that already has a motor,” General Manager of Charlie Obaugh RV and Outdoors Ben Puckett said.
For Dove’s Campers in Harrisonburg, the business has also been stable amid the boom. In a Modern Campground report, the RV and outdoor hospitality have seen significant growth in bookings amid the pandemic.
However, they’ve been affected by recalls as well as shortages. Unknown timelines have hit the store’s parts and in-house service department for items such as propane fittings and other accessories.
“There were also recalls on certain products as well, so on top of a shortage, there was a recall, so we experience that a lot with a lot of our parts, so it was hard to tell a lot of our customers, ‘Sorry we just don’t know when this is coming in,’” Salesperson for Dove’s Campers Bethany Lowe said.
Gas prices and inflation have also impacted parts of the RV industry, but 79% of RVers say their travel plans are not affected by gas prices.
This article originally appeared on WHSV.