RV dealers were cheering the end of the recession — at least for the RV industry — at last weekend’s RV show in Hershey, PA, saying sales are booming. Orlando RV in Florida reported selling out of some ultra-luxe, top-of-the-line RV models that retail for $454,550. Product manager Robin McCracken said they had nearly doubled their sales goal of $36 million with a quarter of the year still to go!
More than a thousand RV dealers exhibited at this year’s Hershey RV show, the nation’s largest, compared to only 660 exhibitors last year. In fact, the show sold out dealer space and had to turn dealers away. RV interest — and sales — are up across the country. After a 2-year recession-driven downturn, RV sales were up 81% for the first two quarters of 2010 compared to the same period last year. By the end of the year, annual RV sales nationwide are expected increase by 45%.
Most RV dealers are reporting increased traffic at retail stores and online RV sales sites. Airstream said they are experiencing the greatest market growth in younger, creative buyers, many of whom are repurposing recreational vehicles as guest houses, home offices or art studios. The biggest buyer segment remains outdoor enthusiasts, followed by retirees looking for affordable travel; but upscale buyers well shy of their 40th birthday are rapidly increasing. All in all, the future looks bright for RV dealers.