'COVID camper' sales surge before summer amid pandemic: report

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The future of travel remains uncertain amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the open road is alluring as ever.

Some RV dealers across the country say that sales are surging amid the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Fox 59 reports, as cooped-up adventurers invest in what Bloomberg has dubbed “COVID campers” for road-trip getaways.

In Indiana, Mount Comfort RV owner Ken Eckstein said that RV sales are about triple what they were last year.

Some RV dealers across the country say that sales are surging amid the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Fox 59 reports.

Some RV dealers across the country say that sales are surging amid the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Fox 59 reports. (iStock)

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“This will be the best May we’ve had on record,” the Greenfield business owner told Fox 59. “It’s absolutely the entry level stuff, the family stuff, the lower price stuff is what’s really exploded.”

Outside of Austin, Texas, Mike Regan says sales are up 30 percent year over year at his two RV dealerships.

“The minute the campgrounds opened on May 1 and the governor turned everyone loose, our business went through the roof,” Regan told Bloomberg. Business has been so busy ever since, he said, he may not have enough motor homes and trailers to meet demand.

After months of heeding quarantine and lockdown orders, people are itching to get outside as the country carefully reopens; the flexibility of visiting drivable destinations is more appealing than ever, while commercial air travel is seriously restricted.

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In a recent poll of 4,000 Americans and Canadians on the pandemic’s effects on camping in North America, Kampgrounds of America Inc. found that the COVID-19 outbreak may attract increasing numbers of leisure travelers to camping. According to the report, respondents cited a desire to get outside after staying home for so long (46 percent), the affordability of camping (41 percent) and the ease of practicing social distancing while traveling (37 percent) as motivating factors.

What’s more, 43 percent of those polled said the pandemic has given them a new appreciation for spending time in the great outdoors. Of those participants who said they plan to take kids camping for the first time when restrictions lift, 67 percent said they have come to realize it’s critical for children to spend time outdoors.

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